“When discussing the heavily-rumored Apple car, software expertise is one of the company’s oft-cited advantages in its attempt to make a dent in the car industry,” Jean-Louis Gassée writes for Monday Note.
“What we’ve grown to accept in our personal computers can’t be allowed in a vehicle carrying human beings at 60 miles per hour,” Gassée writes. “Just because the software running inside Apple’s personal computing devices is considered high quality doesn’t mean that the culture that produces it is capable of producing the high-reliability, real-time embedded software needed for an electric car. I am one of the many who believe culture always wins. Culture eats strategy for breakfast, it causes mergers and acquisitions to fail and, above all, it resists virile executive calls to change. Culture evolves slowly, as if having its own independent will, or not at all.”
“The bottom line is this: For the hypothetical Apple Car project to succeed, a necessary (but not sufficient) condition is a culture change of a kind rarely, if ever, achieved by large organizations,” Gassée writes. “Perhaps the new software culture could arise in a new, separate group, well protected against the corporate lymphocytes always prone to attack what they see foreign objects. But that would break Apple in two separate cultures, and be the beginning of a dangerous process for a company that, today, strives on having a united functional organization.”
Much more in the full article – recommended – here.
MacDailyNews Take: Good point. The tolerance for software faults is far higher for a multi-ton, fast-moving vehicle than for a MacBook, an iPhone, or an Apple TV. A spinning beachball or a random restart will not be tolerated (or perhaps not even be survivable) at 75 MPH.
This will be one of Apple’s greatest challenges.
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015