Life Behind the Wheel

Why drive when you can shop and vice versa?

By Gary S. Vasilash

Stellantis, the company best known in the U.S. for the products that used to be under the Chrysler umbrella, then under the DaimlerChrysler umbrella, then the FCA umbrella, and now under a company with 14 brands—make that “14 iconic brands”—had announced in July that it was planning to electrify its vehicles in a big way (with more than 70% of the cars and trucks and utes in Europe and more than 40% of same in the U.S. being “low emission vehicles,” which is not quite fully electric, but a start).

Now it has announced that it is going to be focusing a lot of attention on vehicular software. Stellantis anticipates there will be approximately €4 billion in annual revenues by 2026 and ~€20 billion by 2030 generated by software-enabled product offerings and subscriptions.

And there you have it.

Or to be a bit more specific: 34 million “monetizable connected cars” by 2030.

Yes, they’ll likely be capable of “over-the-air” updates. Which simply means that you’ll be able to buy more stuff while stuck in traffic.

Here’s a somewhat frightening fact:

Stellantis is developing what it calls the “STLA SmartCockpit,” which it describes as something that “will seamlessly integrate with the digital lives of vehicle occupants to create a customizable third living space.”

Remember when Starbucks positioned itself as the “third space”?

Soon it will be your Jeep.

The importance of this—this is the scary part—is that Stellantis says a customer spends four years of their lives, on average, in their vehicles—and this is increasing.

Somehow makes walking more appealing.

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