In the battle for autonomous driving supremacy, we’ve seen automakers take radically different approaches in the quest for the next evolution in driver engagement. Although there are many nuanced approaches to bring a fully autonomous vehicle to market, the biggest difference in approach is clearly on display at Tesla and Mercedes.
In an article featured in Automotive News Europe, we see the stark difference between Tesla’s and Mercedes’s approach to fully autonomous driving tech. Tesla has famously offered customers cutting edge technology with the ability to improve vehicles thanks to over the air software updates. This advantage has allowed Tesla to roll out new technology at a very aggressive pace and matches the same frequency as tech companies updating their smartphones.
When we compare Tesla’s approach to new self-driving tech to Mercedes’s approach, we see the difference between an aggressive startup minded business and an established legacy automaker. Tesla is more than happy to roll out partially finished features to users who help Tesla gather data and refine features with the disclaimer that new features may fail at any moment.
Mercedes on the other hand only allows certified test drivers to utilize new features on test cars until they are approved by the company and government before introducing new self-driving features. These vastly different approaches have pros and cons but we must remember that progress in an unsafe manner is not always the answer especially when people's lives are at risk.
In the automotive world, there is no doubt that Tesla has disrupted the industry and brought about change from legacy automakers who are working to keep pace in this ever-changing industry. Although Tesla has made an impact on legacy automakers it hasn’t changed how they approach new technology.