“The email had one subject line: ‘Steve Jobs,'” Jose Fermoso reports for The Guardian. “A few hours later, Bryan Thompson was on a plane to San Francisco to meet up with the rest of his small team who’d been working on a small, lightweight and ultra-modern prototype car called the V-Vehicle. Jobs, the team was told, was an informal advisor to the investors, and curious about the project.””

“It was May 2010, and Thompson, an experienced industrial designer, had spent two years working on the secretive car project. Their mission was to up-end the car industry by creating a lightweight, petroleum-powered car that used cheaper materials and could sell for just $14,000,” Fermoso reports. “And backed by Silicon Valley investors including Kleiner Perkins, Caufield & Byers (KPCB), Jobs wanted to see it.”

“At 5pm the small team pulled into the driveway of a modest, tudor-style house in a quiet Palo Alto suburb. A thin figure came out of the doorway, big smile and faded blue jeans,” Fermoso reports. “Jobs got in the driver side and Thompson on the passenger side. Two others got in the back but Jobs ordered them to get out. ‘I don’t want anybody else in here,’ he said. In the next fifteen minutes, Thompson said he learned more about plastics than in his years in design school and auto industry combined as Jobs talked through his ideas on materials, perception and design intuition.

The interior of the V-Vehicle used fibre-wood throughout, which was left exposed and gave the car an organic appearance. According to designers, it also made the car smell like fresh wood. “The fresh-car smell you’re used to is actually just plastic. The wood smell is way more pleasant.” Photograph: Bryan Thompson

The interior of the V-Vehicle used fibre-wood throughout, which was left exposed and gave the car an organic appearance. According to designers, it also made the car smell like fresh wood. “The fresh-car smell you’re used to is actually just plastic. The wood smell is way more pleasant.” Photograph: Bryan Thompson

 
“On the flight home, Thompson feverishly drew out ideas. ‘If you’d have told me I would have one-on-one interactions with Steve Jobs, I would’ve laid down on the floor and had a momentary design pleasure seizure,’ he said,” Fermoso reports. “Thompson’s project also points to ideas that Apple is likely to explore in Project Titan, Apple’s much-rumored electric car.”

Tons more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in March 2015: “When Apple enters markets, it’s because they can bring something(s) so unique to the table that significant disruption is inevitable.”

When Apple looks at what categories to enter, we ask these kinds of questions: What are the primary technologies behind this? What do we bring? Can we make a significant contribution to society with this? If we can’t, and if we can’t own the key technologies, we don’t do it. That philosophy comes directly from [Steve Jobs] and it still very much permeates the place. I hope that it always will.Apple CEO Tim Cook, March 18, 2015

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Inside Apple’s top-secret ‘Titan’ electric car project – March 13, 2015
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