Bill Ford on Apple’s vehicle push: ‘It’s awesome’

“Apple and Google’s entrance into the auto sector is ‘awesome,’ and Ford will likely strike partnerships with the new players in the sector, Ford’s executive chairman said on Tuesday,” Arjun Kharpal reports for CNBC.

“During a question and answer session at the Web Summit conference in Dublin, Bill Ford said he was pleased that technology giants were entering the auto world,” Kharpal reports “‘I think it’s awesome,’ Ford said.”

“Speculation has been rife that Apple could be producing a vehicle of its own. The auto industry has been a big focus for technology companies as they begin to expand past their core business,” Kharpal reports “While the chairman of the auto giant declined to say whether Ford would collaborate with Apple and Google, he did predict that partnerships will be key for established carmakers to survive.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Good luck to traditional vehicle makers. You’re gonna need it.

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9 Comments

  1. If Apple revolutionises the car industry like they’re revolutionising the TV industry with the stillborn ATV4 then traditional car makers won’t have much to worry about.

    1. Well we shall see how still born it is in 6 months or so, its still a fundamentally superior product compared to others on the market in terms of concept and potential even if it has some temporary software failings presently letting it down. Someone really needs to put a rocket up the ass of the development teams at Apple mind that’s where SJ is missed.

  2. He says that Ford is likely to strike partnerships with new players in the sector. That could mean absolutely anything or nothing.

    If Ford tries to make deals where it retains the upper hand and tries to call all the shots, then a strong player like Apple will tell them where to get off. On the other hand if they agree to a deal with Google, then Google will insist on acquiring enormous amounts of data on Ford’s passengers. I don’t think that customers are likely to find that an attractive proposition. It’s a great way to turn people away from your products.

    I applaud Bill Ford for sounding constructive, which makes a refreshing change from the negativity coming from other car manufacturers, but I think he’s missed the boat. He could have dumped FordSYNC ages ago and adopted CarPlay, but instead chose to sideline Apple.

    If Apple’s car turns out to be anything like what I expect it to be, then Apple won’t need partners from the traditional car industry.

    Software is becoming increasingly crucial in modern cars, but car manufacturers simply don’t have the expertise to create it themselves to the standards that are required. I think it’s going to be easier for Apple to acquire the specialised car expertise it needs, than for Ford to acquire the software expertise that it needs. Ford needs a partner like Apple. Apple doesn’t need a partner like Ford.

  3. I hope Apple remembers Drucker’s admonition that business is all about ‘satisfying the customer.’

    Auto makers seem to change things each year just to say “We have a new model.” Change is not necessarily good for easy human usability.

    Admiration of flat touch screens for iPhones does NOT translate to easy ergonomic use in a vehicle by the driver.

    Formula 1 driver controls tend to be on the wheel with physical buttons. My Toyota radio (which is used a lot) can be used entirely by feel. The last new car I was in had a radio that was unusable as you had to focus on various images on an LCD and it was not obvious how to use it.

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