“Apple’s interest in cars dates back to at least 2008, when Steve Jobs and ‘father of the iPod’ Tony Fadell discussed the idea. Project Titan appeared to be the company gearing up to finally create an Apple Car, but things seem to have changed since the first reports,” Ben Lovejoy writes for 9to5Mac.
Bob Mansfield explained that he had examined the project and determined that Apple should move from building an outright competitor to Tesla to an underlying self-driving platform. — Bloomberg News, October 10, 2017
“Business Insider notes that UBS analyst Steven Milunovich is now suggesting something similar, but rather broader. ‘Project Titan is likely to be a transportation platform — not a car but the entire experience,'” Lovejoy writes. “We could think of it as an operating system for cars – or a HomeKit for cars. CarKit, perhaps?”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: At this point, that theory is just as plausible as anything else.
Apple wants California DMV to shroud public reports about Apple’s autonomous vehicle tests – April 28, 2017
Check out the Lexus that Apple’s using to test their self-driving car tech – April 28, 2017
How Apple is training testers for self-driving Apple Car – April 24, 2017
Apple permit reveals self-driving car testers include NASA roboticists – April 24, 2017
Apple + satellites = ? – April 22. 2017
Why Apple may be interested in space satellites – April 21, 2017
Apple’s self-driving car test program revealed in new document – April 21, 2017
Analyst: Apple ‘almost certainly’ exploring making a whole car but there’s a big challenge – April 18, 2017
Right now, the ‘Apple Car’ is a 2015 Lexus RX 450h SUV – April 17, 2017
Gene Munster on Apple Car: Exploration does not mean a product comes to market – April 17, 2017
Apple’s Project Titan: California makes it official – April 17, 2017
Why you should get your self-driving car from Apple – April 17, 2017
Apple secures permit to test autonomous vehicles – April 15, 2017
Apple’s letter to the U.S. NHTSA reveals 30-year Detroit veteran on its stealth ‘Project Titan’ team – December 8, 2016
Apple files patent for autonomous vehicle collision avoidance system – December 8, 2016
Apple letter all but confirms plans for self-driving cars and commitment to privacy – December 5, 2016
Apple drops hints about autonomous-vehicle project in letter to U.S. transportation regulators – December 3, 2016
It’s not McLaren Racing, but McLaren Applied Technologies, that’s the apple of Apple’s eye – September 23, 2016
Apple-target McLaren is a tech company disguised as a carmaker – September 22, 2016
Supercar-maker McLaren says not in discussion with Apple ‘in respect of any potential investment’ – September 22, 2016
Apple in talks to acquire British supercar maker McLaren – September 21, 2016
Apple in talks to acquire electric vehicle-maker Lit Motors – September 21, 2016
As it was already mentioned, Apple absolutely never develops any “underlying platforms” for anyone else. In this sphere it especially does not make sense since all major manufacturers already developed their own AI/self-driving platforms, so the only market for such platform would be third grade independent car manufacturers. This is what Google’s car project is aiming for, but it is impossible to image that Apple would waste resources on that.
This means that Apple aims to produce an actual car, no less.
If these analysts can tell us which major car manufacturers are asking for an Apple or Google platform for their cars, then their speculation might make sense, but meanwhile in the real world, virtually every volume car manufacturer has said that they’re working on their own systems and have made it clear that they do not want to adopt solutions coming from the computer industry.
Apple has discovered for itself that other industries can be reluctant and unreliable partners in Apple’s technology, even when that technology is demonstrated to offer tremendous advantages. The music business hated the idea of iTunes, resisted Apple’s simple per-track pricing structure and insisted on DRM initially. The TV and movie industry are still putting obstacles in the way of video entertainment via iTunes. Apple Pay has had to overcome hurdles put in it’s way by banks around the world and also from retailers who refuse to accept payment via Apple Pay. The car industry has been exceedingly slow to incorporate Apple’s CarPlay and it’s still only available on a small selection of models, with some volume manufacturers being completely absent.
Unless there are car manufacturers seriously looking for a ready-made solution from Apple, the only realistic option for Apple is to produce the entire car themselves, which is would be a classic example of Apple doing what it does best; vertical integration without the compromises imposed by having to co-operate with a third party.
IF Apple ever was interested in creating and selling automobile hardware, it WOULD have been an idiotic idea. I’ll enjoy reading the inside history of this Project Titan era. Creating a solid, universally useful ‘CarKit’ would seem to be the puzzle into which all the pieces fit.