Sure, Searchbloggers may find the CTO of GM something of a stretch for this space and…well…yeah I agree. But I enjoyed meeting Tony Scott and talking about the future of cars. It’s a nice diversion from search … and yes, in fact, we did talk about search, it just didn’t make it into the piece…imagine search+GPS+geolocation+hydrogen cells+0-60 in 3.2 seconds….not quite the Fifth Element, but we’re getting there…
PS – if you want to get seriously carsick, check this out….works best after a bottle of good red…
TITANS OF TECH
The CTO in a GTO
Don’t like your car? In the future, says General Motors’s Tony Scott, you’ll just download a new one.
By John Battelle, July 2004 Issue
Tony Scott has a simple message for people who make hardware and software: Listen to your customers or risk losing them. As both carrot and stick, General Motors’s (GM) affable chief technology officer wields an annual IT budget of nearly $3 billion. It’s that kind of spending power that led many to credit Scott with prompting the recent détente between Sun (SUNW) and Microsoft (MSFT).
Some in Silicon Valley fear that the area is turning into the next Detroit. (Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer grew up there and saw the decline firsthand.) But turning into Detroit could be a good thing, Scott argues: Remember that the auto industry pioneered interoperability, industry standards, and — egad — warranties. The two industries are a lot closer to merging than you might think. Software and electronics already account for a third of the cost of the average car, and given GM’s billion-dollar investment in the Hy-wire, a hydrogen-powered concept car (see “GM’s Race to the Future,” October), high-tech and hot rods are only going to become more intimately entwined. How so? Read on.
I hear you’re entirely to blame for making peace between McNealy and Ballmer.
[Laughter] It’s really interesting the way urban legend evolves. We never said, “Sit down and go smoke a peace pipe.” But GM has spoken with a very loud voice to Microsoft and Sun and others about interoperability. We’ve been diligent about making our pain known in that space — it’s very costly to make incompatible technologies work well together.
Can you give me a specific example?
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