DENVER — More than a decade ago, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen famously claimed, "Software is eating the world." That trend certainly is reverberating through the automotive world.
What was once a primarily atoms-focused hardware business is increasingly morphing into a bits-driven software and services one. Powertrain electrification and in-vehicle connectivity have turned cars into computers on wheels, with the average vehicle running more than 100 million lines of software code.
Christoph Starzynski, who leads the development of Mercedes-Benz's electric EQ subbrand, has a front-seat view of the industry's tech transformation as he helps navigate the German luxe brand toward an all-EV lineup.
In a software-first world, automakers can deliver new functionality and dial up performance via over-the-air updates long after the vehicle has rolled off the assembly line, Starzynski told Automotive News at a press event here.
"How can we, with incremental steps, improve the product without asking the customer to come into the workshop?" he said.