Some fifteen years ago I co-wrote a book (The Disappearance of Telecommunications) where I envisaged a future where cars will become a service, rather than a product. I would have been able to download new software to transform my car providing it with enhanced performances for a certain period of time (more horsepowers for the week end), transforming it into an office or a family car at will.
Now I am pleased to see Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla cars, announcing the new S-model and calling it "a computer on wheels".
In the announcement he is saying that customers will be able to download new software releases from the Internet to increase the features of the car, as new ones will become available. It is now just a tiny step to imagine a car like an iPod able to access a iCar Store to download apps developed by thousands of independent developers with the result that every car will be different from any other one, depending on the kind of apps her owner has fancied.
The car comes equipped with an autopilot. Will we be able to choose an avatar of Vettel or Hamilton as our autopilot for a trilling drive over the week end or will be settled for a leisurely drive by some local guide avatar impersonator? Thinking about it. Here we have a completely new biz opportunity: becoming a driver for thousands of cars at the same time, bringing them my personal style of driving...
An amazing world is just round the corner. What I imagined fifteen years ago is now a reality and this reality is, in turns, stimulating wild imagination for newer worlds that were difficult to envisage in the last century.