“The Apple Car development project appears to be on track. The WSJ is out with a new report indicating Apple continues to hire auto-related executives and researchers,” Neil Cybart writes for Above Avalon. “The latest are Doug Betts, one of the highest auto executives confirmed to now work at Apple, and Paul Furgale, a researcher involved in autonomous vehicles, mapping, and robotics.”
“Betts is a senior level auto executive with stints across a number of companies, including time as head of product quality and supply chain for the Tundra, Sequoia, and Sienna at Toyota in Indiana, where manufacturing techniques are still the envy of the auto industry,” Cybart writes. “One other aspect of Betts that many may not catch is that he has previous experience as Head of Total Customer Satisfaction for Americas at Nissan, which in car lingo means controlling the experience a customer has with a car brand, including everything from how a car is built, to it being bought at a dealer. Betts was overlooking the Nissan experience.”
“Now recall how Apple is all about selling experiences,” Cybart writes. “It sure does seem to fit in my mind.”
Much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: The effort is obviously very real. Whether Apple brings anything to market or not is the question. Apple, when operating properly, will not enter a market without being able to offer something unique, something that moves the category forward. And, the company has more than enough cash to fund several such large scale exploratory projects in the works, even if most, or even all, of them never bear fruit.
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
If Apple does make the move into vehicles, traditional vehicle makers should be very, very afraid.
Apple hires veteran Fiat Chrysler auto industry executive – July 20, 2015
What’s up with Carl Icahn’s sudden obsession with the Apple Car? – May 18, 2015
Survey: 77% of hybrid or electric vehicle owners would likely buy an Apple Car – May 13, 2015
Apple Car: Forget ‘electric,’ think hydrogen fuel cells – February 20, 2015
Apple working with Intelligent Energy on fuel cell technology for mobile devices, sources say – July 14, 2014
North Carolina regulators approve Apple’s 4.8-megawatt fuel cell facility at Maiden data center – May 23, 2012
New aerial images of Apple’s planned NC fuel cell, solar farms published – April 7, 2012
Apple’s massive fuel cell energy project to be largest in the U.S. – April 4, 2012
Apple patent application reveals next-gen fuel cell powered Macs and iOS devices – December 22, 2011
Apple patent app details highly-advanced hydrogen fuel cells to power portable devices – October 20, 2011