Phones, computers, watches … CARS? What Is Apple Up To Now?
We might see an Apple car within 3 years, if the rumor mill is right. Sensational rumors usually have a short shelf life, but the Apple car project rumor has been making the rounds for nearly 2 years now and has merited its own Wikipedia article, an observation by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and reports from reputed online newspapers such as BBC, Business Insider, The New York Times, The Guardian and The Independent. Steve Jobs is unfortunately no longer with us but according to former directors and VPs of Apple, the co-founder of Apple did prepare a detailed proposal for an Apple car. Nearly 10 years after his death, the realization of the Apple car project, which he had proposed, would unmistakably be a poignant tribute to Steve Jobs and an exciting diversification by the company.
Apple has specialized in the production of PCs and smartphones for 40 years and it is consequently unbelievable to many that they will unexpectedly begin producing cars by themselves so soon. It is important to note that Apple already has CarPlay, which allows select cars owners to use their built in displays to get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, and listen to music and is marketed as a “safer way to use your iPhone in the car” on the Apple website. Apple might simply be attempting to create a more comprehensive interface or even an autonomous driving system for other cars. Apple’s latest project, which we can now safely hope is at least car-related, is being called Titan and is speculated to have a 600-1000 engineer team working on it. In December 2016, the present director of Apple confirmed in a five page letter that Apple is, in fact, “investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation”. This is an ambiguous admission, but one nonetheless. Drivers, rejoice! Apple might truly be hoping to make an automated car. An automated car is a self-driving vehicle. Driverless cars could be significant life-saving technology by eliminating road accidents. Potential competitors such as Tesla and Ford have already acknowledged the rumors. Ford has responded by planning to have self-driving cars on the road by 2021. Tesla is already testing self-driving cars. Elon Musk believes that tech companies such as Apple Google are Tesla’s competitors.
Will it be called the iCar? What will its features be? Will Apple’s design philosophy continue to be influenced by Steve Job’s love for simplicity in this latest addition to the Apple family? These are the questions fans are asking now. Setbacks are only to be expected. BMW and Daimler have reportedly turned down partnership requests on the Titan project. It is also being reported that the initiative is increasingly running into roadblocks culminating in Apple laying off employees. If all goes well, the company’s foray into the auto industry should be a successful one. Apple continues to be secretive about it but will hopefully reveal more soon.