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商业 - 汽车

特斯拉与日产的自动泊车技术之争

Katie Fehrenbacher 2016年01月15日

日产和特斯拉最近相继推出各自的自动泊车技术。作为传统汽车业的代表,日产希望等待这项技术成熟后,再将其搭载在面向大众市场的电动汽车上。而科技背景更强的特拉斯公司则决定现在就让车主们体验这种技术。这两种迥然不同的策略,将在相当程度上决定未来电动汽车市场的形态。

最近,日产汽车公司展示了一款最新移动应用的原型产品,它可以让聆风电动汽车在无人驾驶的情况下实现自动泊车。安装在车身的传感器和摄像头可以帮助轿车找到空闲的停车位,然后轻松地泊车入位。

我们现在还不清楚日产何时会将自动泊车功能应用到聆风或其它量产车型上。日产发言人对《财富》表示,该公司计划推出一款所谓的“泊车助手”,推出时间可能是2018年。

与此同时,最新版特斯拉Model S电动轿车的车主也体验了一番自动泊车技术。通过下载一款软件,他们能够让自己的轿车自动泊车入位——时间就是当下,而不是几年以后。

特斯拉和日产围绕自动泊车技术所采取的不同战略,显示出这两家电动汽车行业的领军企业迥然不同的经营理念。

日产公司利用雄厚的资本和浸淫汽车行业多年的经验,稳扎稳打地将一项新技术推向大众市场。而特斯拉正在利用自己的搅局者身份和高科技背景,通过一种全新的方式,迅速地将一项早期技术交付给一小群富裕用户使用。

这两种不同的策略一方面说明,电动汽车行业仍处在初级发展阶段。但它们同时也显示,围绕着电动汽车的设计、制造和销售,科技业和汽车业未来将会展开怎样的竞争。

目前,谷歌和苹果等科技巨头正在迅速成立汽车部门。与此同时,全球最大的几家汽车公司也纷纷在硅谷开设办事处,以招揽工程人才和最新的创意。而汽车市场的主流客户现在更是片刻也离不开手机,也早已习惯了无处不在的数据连接,以及Uber等拼车和专车服务。

通过与法国汽车巨头雷诺合作,日产公司已经形成了一张庞大的全球销售网络。全球每卖出10台汽车,就有一台是雷诺—日产的产品。而单单是日产公司2015财年的利润就有望达到44亿美元。不过这个成绩在相当程度上要归功于它的传统汽油动力SUV在美国市场的火爆销量。

这家已有80年历史的日本汽车公司秉持的战略是,把电动汽车和自动驾驶技术以主流消费者可以接受的价格推广到最广阔的市场上。过去5年,日产已经售出了近30万辆电动汽车,其中包括20万辆聆风电动汽车——聆风也是日产的首款电动汽车,售价大约在3万美元左右。

Recently, Japanese automaker Nissan showed off a prototype of a mobile app that could automatically park a LEAF electric car without a driver. Sensors and cameras helped the car find an open parking spot and then slowly ease into it.

It’s unclear exactly when Nissan might make self-parking available for the LEAF, or any of its others cars. A Nissan spokesperson told Fortune the company planned to offer something called “parking assist,” potentially in 2018.

Meanwhile this weekend, owners of the latest version of Tesla’s Model S electric car also got a glimpse of self-parking technology. By downloading some software, drivers could get their Model S cars to park on their own—today, not years from now.

Tesla and Nissan’s divergent strategies around self-parking cars highlights a pair of very different philosophies from two of the most important companies leading the electric car industry.

Nissan is using its large balance sheet and auto industry credentials to deliver new technology in a step-by-step manner to a mass market audience. Tesla is using its outsider status and tech industry roots to quickly deliver early technology to a more narrow and affluent audience in an entirely new way.

The opposite approaches put a spotlight on the early state of the electric car industry. But they also show how the tech industry and the auto sector are beginning to battle over the future of how cars are designed, made, and sold.

Tech companies like Googleand Appleare rapidly building auto divisions. while the world’s biggest car companies are opening up Silicon Valley offices to tap into engineering talent and new ideas. At stake is the massive market for automobiles for drivers who are glued to cell phones, raised on ubiquitous data connections, and comfortable with car sharing and on-demand car services like Uber.

Nissan, in partnership with French giant Renault, has massive global reach through their sales of one in ten of all cars globally. Nissan, alone, expects an annual profit of $4.4 billion for fiscal year 2015, partly off the back of strong sales of traditional gas-powered SUVs in the U.S.

The 80-year-old company’s strategy is to bring both electric cars and autonomous car technology to the widest market possible at a price that mainstream consumers can afford. Over the past five years, Nissan has sold close to 300,000 electric vehicles including about 200,000 electric LEAFs, its pioneering electric car priced at around $30,000.

一名记者正在试驾配备自动驾驶功能的特斯拉Model S

相比之下,成立仅13年的硅谷宠儿特斯拉总共可能只卖出了不到10万辆电动汽车,其中包括Model S轿车、Model X SUV,还有早几年生产的Roadster跑车(截止2015年9月,特斯拉已经发货的Model S轿车达到9万辆)。

虽然这个数量还不到日产的三分之一,但考虑到特斯拉只是一家年轻的新锐公司,这个成绩还是相当可观的。更何况,特斯拉CEO伊隆•马斯克还是通过一套与日产完全不同的战略获得这个成绩的。

到目前为止,特斯拉大多数车型的售价动辄便高达六位数,并具备一些高大上的豪华功能。尽管特斯拉也计划在2017年推出相对平价的Model 3电动轿车,但富裕人群依然是该公司最重要的目标客户。

上周在日产公司硅谷办事处的一次活动上,日产CEO卡洛斯•高森强调指出,该公司的主要精力仍将集中在平价市场上。他指出,售价10万美元的电动汽车仍然是一个“小众市场”,并表示日产不会让自动驾驶技术“在一些车子上进行公测。”虽然这两句评论都没有直接指向特斯拉,但其中的意味不言而喻。

根据日产公司的计划,只有等自动驾驶技术的价格降下来了,能够在一款售价3万美元的汽车上安全运行时,日产才会将这项技术添加到自己的车型中。日产表示,未来四年将有十款日产车型搭载自动驾驶功能,而且它们都将是“价格可以接受的大众市场车型。”

In contrast, 13-year old Silicon Valley darling Tesla has likely delivered close to 100,000 vehicles. That includes shipments of its electric Model S sedan, its Model X SUV, and its early Roadster sports cars (Tesla had delivered 90,000 Model S cars as of the end of November).

Although that amount is just a third of that of Nissan, the number is still remarkable considering it’s coming from a young upstart. Furthermore, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has accomplished it by following a different strategy to Nissan.

To date, many of Tesla’s cars have had six-figure price tags and high-end luxury features. While Tesla plans to launch a lower-priced electric Model 3 in 2017, its business was built by making electric cars for wealthy drivers.

On the other hand, at Nissan’s event at its Silicon Valley office last week, CEO Carlos Ghosn emphasized the car company’s mass market goals. He referred to the $100,000 electric car as “a niche” and said that Nissan isn’t making autonomous technology to be “beta-tested on a few vehicles.” Neither comments directly referred to Tesla, but they easily could have.

Instead, Nissan plans to only add autonomous technology to its cars when the feature is inexpensive and widely available enough to work safely on a $30,000 car. The company says 10 of its models will get autonomous features over the next four years, and those cars will be “mainstream, mass-market cars at affordable prices.”

记者在试驾具有自动驾驶功能的日产聆风电动汽车

与日产的做法形成鲜明对比的是,特斯拉最近对其自动驾驶软件进行了升级。虽然特斯拉目前的辐射范围(以及利润)还不能和日产相比,但它的发展速度非常快,同时也致力于依靠车型搭载的无线网络不断推出创新功能。

特斯拉比世界上任何一家汽车公司都更加重视利用软件和无线网络来对车子进行频繁升级。特斯拉的软硬件架构(以及该公司对软硬件架构进行优化的意愿)形成了一个巨大的优势,使该公司的行动和反应要显著快于其他任何一家汽车制造商。

但推出这些新功能也是具有一定风险性的。比如在最近一次软件升级中,特斯拉也对此前部署的自动驾驶功能进行了一些新限制。原因或许是有些车主会使用自动驾驶功能进行一些不安全的驾驶行为(还有人把这些危险驾驶行为拍成视频放在了网上)。卡洛斯•高森表示,日产不会把“公测”版功能(也就是早期版本,有时甚至是不成熟的版本)发布给用户,但特斯拉似乎并不排斥让车主参加“公测”。

这两家公司面对风险的心态,或许才是它们在电动汽车战略上的最大区别。日产最初决定搞电动汽车也是承担了一定的风险的。但相比之下,直到现在,特斯拉还更像是一家愿意迎接一个又一个风险的初创公司。一个明显的例子是,特斯拉正在赌上全部身家,在内华达州里诺市郊兴建一座耗资50亿美元的电池工厂,用来生产Model 3轿车的电池。

这两家公司都在从根本上塑造襁褓期的电动汽车行业的形态。至于这两家公司分别会给行业带来哪些长期影响,则取决于你认为汽车行业的变革将是渐进的,还是突变的。

电动汽车仍然是一个非常年轻的行业,未来一些年,马路上行驶的越来越多的汽车都将由电池提供动力。几家最重要的公司如何将第一批汽车交付到车主手上,无疑将在相当程度上决定未来电动汽车市场的形态。

除了电动汽车,放眼整个汽车行业,随着汽车变得更加互联化、共享化、按需化、自动化和环保化,整个行业必然会经历一次重大的转型。未来的车主们将追求一种和父辈们完全不同的用车体验。那么究竟是谁更有可能赢得他们的芳心?是科技业的新锐,还是传统汽车业的翘楚?(财富中文网)

译者:朴成奎

审校:任文科

It’s a marked contrast to Tesla’s autonomous software upgrade this past weekend. Though Tesla doesn’t have the reach of Nissan (or profits yet), it is willing to move fast and push out innovative new features over its cars’ wireless connections.

More than any other car company in the world, Tesla has focused on using software and wireless connectivity to routinely upgrade its cars. This hardware and software infrastructure (and the company’s willingness to optimize it) is a huge advantage that lets Tesla act—or react—more quickly than pretty much any other automotive manufacturer.

But rolling out those features can also be risky. For example, in its latest software upgrade, Tesla alsoadded new restrictions to its previously deployed autopilot features. The move was likely due to customers using autopilot to do some unsafe driving (and posting videos of that risky driving online). Unlike how Ghosn said Nissan isn’t releasing “beta” (early, sometimes unbaked versions) features to customers, Tesla appears to want to embrace that “beta” mentality.

It may be the companies’ appetites for risk that is one of the biggest differences between Tesla and Nissan’s electric car strategies. Nissan’s initial move to sell electric cars carried some modest element of risk, but Tesla still operates like a startup, and is willing to pile on risk after risk. For example, Tesla is basically betting the farm on building a $5 billion battery factory outside Reno, Nev. that will churn out batteries for its Model 3 car.

Both companies are fundamentally shaping the nascent electric car industry. But their individual impact over the long term depends on whether you think the automotive industry will change through evolution or revolution.

The electric car industry is still very young, and many more cars on the road will be powered by batteries in the years to come. But the market will no doubt be shaped over time by how the most important companies get their first cars into the hands of customers.

Beyond electric cars, the auto industry, in general, is set to undergo significant transformation as cars become more connected, more shared, more on-demand, more autonomous, and more environmentally-friendly. Future drivers will be looking for a different car experience than their parents. Will it be the tech industry or the traditional auto industry that will more likely be able to win them over?

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