When speaking of autonomous vehicles companies such as Tesla or Google come to mind. These are companies that have popularized driverless vehicles. Additionally, behind these two tech titans are a multitude of companies that wish to be the first to step foot in successful, driverless autonomy. A new challenger has appeared however in the driverless vehicle race. Apple decided to toss their hat into the ring. Rumors have been circulating that they’ve been experimenting with driverless technology. This isn’t the first time Apple has flirted with the idea of launching a vehicle of their own. However, those plans lit up in flames in favor of other more suitable ventures for the tech giant. Now, the tides of change are coming up on Apple once again.
California’s Department of Motor Vehicles requires that all companies register their autonomous vehicles with the state. Thanks to that information, it’s public knowledge that Apple continues to acquire more drivers and test cars. As of September 2018, Apple has 70 driverless cars on the streets. In comparison, Audi only has 12 driverless vehicles.
Additionally, thanks to a criminal investigation filed against a former Apple employee the number of people working on the autonomous vehicle project has been disclosed. Apple has around 5,000 people that are either working on or have knowledge of the venture. 2,700 employees of that 5,000 are considered “core members” of the team.
However, that method goes against Apple as a company and how they’ve acted up to now. Next, they could build their own manufacturing factories and dive head first into car development. That’s a huge logistical issue that Apple might not be so keen on. None of these methods point to Apple wanting to make their autonomous vehicles. Maybe it’s not a vehicle at all.
Apple might not be wanting to go all-in on the idea of an Apple Car. Maybe they have their eyes set on what comes after that. Meaning, once the technology is stable what can be done with it? What does Apple do better than most other tech companies? The answer is entertainment. If you have your hands free and don’t need to be paying attention to what happens in front of your car then you can use your hands for other things. The person in a driverless car can be watching a movie, selecting something on a custom built HUD (heads-up-display) or more. What if they find a way to combine the Mac OS with a vehicle HUD? Much in the same way you can find an emulator for a Mac OS on a PC you can do the vehicle equivalent. A bold prediction, but just maybe it could be right on the money.
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