The next war in the auto industry is in space – economic policy

When we talk about the war in Ukraine, another war – fortunately less bloody – is taking place in space. And this war is about the automotive sector.

We got used to the fact that the road was the only battlefield for the automotive brand. It must be remembered that this war has also gone into space. My colleagues at the French magazine L’EXPRESS unveiled the first rose pot: The Volkswagen Group, through Porsche, plans to launch its own satellite system for its future autonomous vehicles. To complete this ambitious project, VW Group has set aside 2 billion Euros in its account. What a fun idea, you said? Not so much. First, because the current satellite positioning system provides about ten meters of accuracy. However, this accuracy is precisely very imperfect for autonomous vehicles. In contrast, car manufacturers need a more precise GPS system in the order of a centimeter. To achieve this, my colleagues from Express mentioned that it would take several thousand satellites into low orbit, which is not the case today.

Parts are crucial for the European automotive sector. Especially since it is the Americans and Chinese who have mastered the best in space today. Already on the road, carmakers fear losing control of their cars to Google, Microsoft and other GAFAs, because tomorrow’s cars, as you know, will have more software around 4 wheels than anything else. And whoever manages this software, cockpit, will be the real owner of this car. In addition to this fight for control of tomorrow’s car software, car manufacturers will also have to fight for space.

For example, the Volkswagen Group cannot accept that it is Elon Musk’s rocket that sends its own satellite into space. Naturally, Elon Musk also owns Tesla and so Volkswagen would have to wolf himself. Since Volkswagen does not have a sufficient launch rate in Europe through Arianspace, the German group does not have much confidence in a European solution and wants to invest in a German micro-launcher which should be its main partner in space management. Project for tomorrow’s autonomous vehicle. But since it is a multi-billion dollar project, the question today is whether Volkswagen will share its satellite constellation with other European carmakers or keep it for its own competitive advantage.

Recall that on February 26, the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Elon Musk was challenged, telling him that “while you are trying to colonize Mars, Russia is trying to invade Ukraine (…). We ask you to provide the station. Elon Musk.” He immediately replied that the “terminal was coming”, in other words, that he had made his satellites available to Ukraine. , But Elon Musk, an American businessman.

So, yes, Europe, which was lagging behind in space communications, realized – just like Volkswagen – that space was a new area of ​​economic warfare. There, just above our heads – too bad it takes a fight there is an explosion of precision.

We got used to the fact that the road was the only battlefield for the automotive brand. It must be remembered that this war has also gone into space. My colleagues at the French magazine L’EXPRESS unveiled the first rose pot: The Volkswagen Group, through Porsche, plans to launch its own satellite system for its future autonomous vehicles. To complete this ambitious project, VW Group has set aside 2 billion Euros in its account. What a fun idea, you said? Not so much. First, because the current satellite positioning system provides about ten meters of accuracy. However, this accuracy is precisely very imperfect for autonomous vehicles. In contrast, car manufacturers need a more precise GPS system in the order of a centimeter. To achieve this, my colleagues from Express mentioned that it would take several thousand satellites into low orbit, which is not the case today. Parts are crucial for the European automotive sector. Especially since it is the Americans and Chinese who have mastered the best in space today. Already on the road, carmakers fear losing control of their cars to Google, Microsoft and other GAFAs, because tomorrow’s cars, as you know, will have more software around 4 wheels than anything else. And the person who will manage this software, cockpit, will be the real owner of this car. In addition to this fight for control of tomorrow’s car software, car manufacturers will also have to fight for space. For example, the Volkswagen Group cannot accept that it is Elon Musk’s rocket that sends its own satellites into space. Naturally, Elon Musk also owns Tesla and so Volkswagen would have to wolf himself. Since Volkswagen does not have an adequate launch rate in Europe through Aryanspace, the German group does not have much confidence in a European solution and wants to invest in a German micro-launcher which should be its main partner in space management. Project for tomorrow’s autonomous vehicle. But since this is a multi-billion dollar project, the question today is whether Volkswagen will share its satellite constellation with other European carmakers or keep it for its own competitive advantage. “When you are trying to colonize Mars, Russia is trying to invade Ukraine (…). We want to supply our station. Elon Musk immediately replied that” the terminal is coming, “in other words, he challenged Elon Musk. His satellites were made available to Ukraine. In short, since Ukraine was the victim of a cyber attack that crippled a good part of its communications, the Ukrainian government did not return to Europe which was unable to help him, but to Elon Musk, an American businessman so, yes. Europe, lagging behind in communication, has realized – just like Volkswagen – that place is a new zone of economic warfare.

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