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Nissan Exec: Google and Uber Underestimate How Hard It Is to Mass Produce Cars

Who will build the cars of the future?

Asa Mathat

Who will build the self-driving cars of the future: Silicon Valley or Detroit?

The latter, according to Nissan executive Maarten Sierhuis, an AI expert who is working on autonomous cars. He said building vehicles for mass production is tough and believes the tech industry is underestimating its difficulty.

Onstage at the Code/Mobile conference Wednesday at The Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay, Calif., he went on: “I don’t necessarily see a Google or an Uber developing their cars. It will be a different business for them and probably not a business that’s profitable.”

Sierhuis was joined by Qualcomm VP Chris Borroni-Bird, who previously worked at General Motors, who agreed that Uber and Google are more likely to power the software of other companies’ cars than mass-produce the hardware.

“The car companies learn tremendously from IT in terms of computing,” Borroni-Bird said. “The brains behind the car will be driven by tech companies more and more.”

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