A Google search for “Apple Car” yields 2.55 billion hits, so many stories that both 9to5Mac and MacRumors have provided neat summaries of “what we know so far.”
While we must keep in mind the high-gain (pun intended) echo chamber, the endemic click-baiting, and the Reality Distortion Field that emanates from Cupertino, we can’t ignore the dream of an autonomous electric car (EV) designed by Jony Ive’s team, with a clean modern user interface, sold in Apple Stores and serviced (brake fluid and pads, tires, lamps) by approved auto maintenance shops. All backed by a company with deep pockets and, rare exceptions aside, a reputation for reliable products.
Reality quickly kills the warm feeling. There’s trouble with the autonomous part of the dream: Sober people agree that full “Level 5” automation — no need ever for human intervention, from arbitrary point A to point B, in any weather — is decades away. Like anyone else’s EV the Apple Car will feature a mix of driver assistance services with no clear way to get to full autonomy…
[So], what is Apple doing if they’re not creating a self-driving car? Research, that’s what.
MacDailyNews Take: There’s a heck of a lot of smoke here for there to be no fire, but Apple’s pockets are very deep indeed. If they wanted to research artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc., vehicles would provide a fertile area in which to conduct all sorts of experiments.
We agree with Gassée: It’s either a car, made by Apple, or Project Titan exists as a test bed for Apple researchers make discoveries and approach problems from different angles than those provided by the usual avenues (Macs, iOS devices, services, etcetera).