Self-driv­ing car in­dus­try needs stan­dards, se­cu­rity

The Korea Times - - SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY -

BER­LIN (Reuters) — Au­tomak­ers need stan­dards for key equip­ment, a wide-reach­ing 5G broad­band net­work and strong part­ner­ships to make self-driv­ing cars and elec­tric ve­hi­cles a suc­cess, top Euro­pean car in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives said on Wed­nes­day.

Ralf Speth, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Bri­tain’s big­gest car­maker Jaguar Land Rover, out­lined am­bi­tious plans to stay ahead of the rapidly chang­ing tech­no­log­i­cal changes, but said the sec­tor also needed uni­fied and clear guide­lines for safe­guard­ing driver in­for­ma­tion and pri­vacy.

Gov­ern­ment and in­dus­try should work closely to­gether to en­sure suc­cess as the mar­ket evolves, Speth told a con­fer­ence hosted by Au­to­mo­bil­woche mag­a­zine in Ber­lin.

Euro­pean car­mak­ers are rac­ing to keep up with the rapid pace of devel­op­ment in the self-driv­ing and elec­tric ve­hi­cle mar­kets in the United States and China.

The changes sweep­ing the in­dus­try prom­ise to bring “enor­mous progress to hu­man­ity,” with au­tonomous cars of­fer­ing mo­bil­ity to many peo­ple now locked out of driv­ing, such as the el­derly and those with dis­abil­i­ties, Speth said.

But car­mak­ers and sup­pli­ers would in­creas­ingly have to forge part­ner­ships to meet the tech­no­log­i­cal chal­lenges in­volved, he said.

“No com­pany alone can mas­ter chal­lenges such as au­tonomous driv­ing and con­nec­tiv­ity on its own,” Speth told Reuters af­ter the con­fer­ence, adding that com­pa­nies will also need to keep in­vest­ing in im­prov­ing con­ven­tional en­gines, which will con­tinue to power a ma­jor­ity of ve­hi­cles for years.

Volk­swa­gen and Ford Mo­tor are in “ex­ploratory talks” to jointly de­velop self-driv­ing and elec­tric ve­hi­cles in a far-reach­ing strate­gic al­liance meant to save the com­pa­nies bil­lions of dol­lars, a per­son fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter told Reuters last week.

Speth also called for in­dus­try­wide stan­dards for charg­ing sta­tions and cords, as well as ve­hi­cle com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems.

One area of con­cern was the pro­duc­tion of bat­ter­ies for elec­tric cars, Speth and other ex­ec­u­tives said.

Oliver Blume, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Porsche divi­sion of Volk­swa­gen, said de­mand for bat­ter­ies would be so great in com­ing years that it could not be met by cur­rent sup­pli­ers.

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