Wang Xiaochuan PK Li Shufu: will Internet bring revolution to auto industry? [Global Times]
(Global Times Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) "Nowadays, the Internet enterprises have better performance in information supply and service. This has formed a kind of pressure, forcing the automobile manufacturers to learn from the Internet enterprises about ideas and thoughts," said Wang Xiaochuan, CEO of Sogou Company when he was invited to attend the 2013 International Auto Safety Summit Forum held on December 16. The forum brought together many "big bosses" of the auto industry. And the highlight of the forum was the thought collision between the "car maniac" Li Shufu and the "geek" Wang Xiaochuan.
Li noted that the pressure could make a person die and an industry collapse and that this is actually a revolution. The auto industry is faced with such a challenge indeed. So how to cope with the revolution was the question that needed thinking. From his point of view, new driving force and intelligence are the focus of automobiles in the future. "Now we need to discuss high intelligence, i.e. E drive. Here E refers to computer, and it can also be electric, representing energy and the intelligent control of computer networks at the same time, and realizing highly intelligent control system and management system in driving in the end. Only such technology can meet complex requirements."ã€€
However, Wang Xiaochuan and Zhou Hang, CEO of an e-commerce site providing car rental service, thought the Internet brought more obvious changes to the auto industry. "Now mobile navigation experience exceeds in-car navigation in all aspects, which is brought by the Internet genes of IT enterprises," said Wang. Zhou took Tesla electric car as an example: "If Tesla didn't have a real-time online system, its attraction would drop dramatically. As far as I am concerned, what Tesla makes us feel good is the Internet."
"I think IT and automobile are totally different. Their relationship should be characterized as interdependent, cooperative and complementary," Li remarked. It is not a matter of grabbing the other's job or a life-or-death struggle. No matter how Tesla develops, it is always within the auto industry. It is just a new development pattern at a new historical period. Maybe when Tesla develops to certain extent, it will merge and acquire some traditional automobile companies and transform the traditional development into a new pattern with a new business model.ã€€
Gao Xu, Senior Director of McKinsey Global, believed the auto industry will surely face a third revolution but it is just about integration rather than revolution. The automobile manufacturers should learn the culture of internet automobile enterprises, because internet enterprises are more innovative.
The key factor why internet enterprises are more advanced in assistive technology is their core spirit---"User experience comes first, statistics call the shots". Wang said, "Internet enterprises put more emphasis on user-centered thinking. No matter how complex a product is, the most important thing is to deliver real benefits to the users and make them feel cool when using the product. The other aspect is data sharing. By sharing and analyzing information, we can solve the problem of information asymmetry, improve decision-making ability, and provide better and more comprehensive service for users. This is the core of internet." He went on to express that considering the advantages of Internet spirit, the crossover cooperation with IT industry will surely become the best helping hand for auto industry as the automobile security enters into 3.0 era.ã€€
Speaking of crossover cooperation, Sogou Company and the famous Ford Motor Company had a successful cooperation in this June. They created an "automobile voice secretary" by integrating Sogou voice assistant with SYNC Applink in Ford cars, which allows drivers to make phone calls, text messages and search surrounding information without using hand while driving. Their cooperation has made the voice communication of men and cars come true, and brought a new driving experience and unprecedented safety and convenience for drivers.
"More Internet spirit in automobile enterprises can facilitate developing vehicle safety. The development of IT industry cannot replace the auto industry; instead they can gradually achieve assimilation to some level during the process of competition and cooperation." Wang added. Li also concluded that our common goal is to make automobiles bring more high-level enjoyment for us in our travel, work and lives by integrating more industries with the auto industry.
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