For Apple, September month has been a busy month. Apple launched 2 new iPhones, iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, a whole new Apple TV and their latest WatchOS 2 [whoooh! That’s a long list of products].
Lately we also heard about Apple’s AppStore being infected with Malware. According to Apple Insider, Apple has promised that it will host Xcode on local servers to avoid such an incident again.
Then there was news report by Wall Street Journal which claims that Apple is planning to come out with their own Car by 2019 – an Apple Car.
But, in May 2015, one of Apple’s tycoon investors, Carl Icahn, claimed that Apple will enter the Automobile industry by 2020.
So why is everybody talking about Apple Car?
It is not just everybody, but even the industry watchers are now convinced that Apple is readying it’s latest disruption – this time the automobile industry. And they are planning to launch Apple Car by 2019. There are lot of hints that these watchers are pointing their fingers to. Such as, the ‘iCar’ project (Codenamed – ‘Titan’) was supposedly been approved by Tim Cook in 2014 and is being headed by Steve Zadesky, Vice President (who is a former Ford engineer).
Apple is also reported to hire Johann Jungwirth, the former-president and chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America [Source: Wikipedia].
Here is a list of known Automobile exes who are now reportedly working with Apple on Apple Car project, as mentioned on Wikipedia:
- Jamie Carlson, an engineer on Tesla’s Autopilot self-driving car program, and before that he worked on automotive vision systems for Michigan-based supplier Gentex Corp
- Megan McClain, a former Volkswagen AG VOWG_p.DE engineer with expertise in automated driving
- Vinay Palakkode, a graduate researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, a hub of automated driving research
- Xianqiao Tong, an engineer who developed computer vision software for driver assistance systems at microchip maker Nvidia Corp
- Paul Furgale, former deputy director of the Autonomous Systems Lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
- Sanjai Massey, an engineer with experience in developing connected and automated vehicles at Ford and several suppliers
- Stefan Weber, a former Bosch engineer with experience in video-based driver assistance systems
- Lech Szumilas, a former Delphi research scientist with expertise in computer vision and object detection
- Doug Betts, former global quality leader at Fiat Chrysler
- Johann Jungwirth, former head of research and development at Mercedes
- Mujeeb Ijaz, a former Ford Motor Co. engineer, who founded A123 Systems’s Venture Technologies division, which focused on materials research, cell product development and advanced concepts (who helped recruited four to five staff researchers from A123, a battery technology company)
Other than these hiring, there are news about Apple increasing it’s headcount for this project to 1,800 (as compared to 1,000 earlier target).
We know that Apple takes pride in their hardware designing team and for that they always hire the best in the industry.
On the Software front too – Apple has already launched Apple CarPlay – a software that is available on limited models and integrates the iPhone usage with the car. It can be a stepping stone for the much-talked-about Apple Car! Here are some pictures from Apple.com:
What are others saying about Apple Car
As Benedict Evans says –
“That is, it’s now pretty easy to look at a car and say ‘this should be a smartphone’ – somehow. It also seems likely that the right way to do that is with software companies, not engineering companies, and that it should be driven by the software-powered device that you replace every two years and not the car that you replace every ten years. To the extent that you add smart to a car, it should really be from the smartphone, with the car dashboard itself being ‘dumb glass’ just like a connected TV. That’s not limited to the navigation or entertainment either – the valuable place to add smart is to the driving controls and displays. That might be Apple’s CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto, or it might be this universal standard for adding smart to a car.”
Piper Jaffray analyst, Gene Munster says –
“We believe the auto industry represents a significant opportunity for Apple, but we also expect Apple to be deliberate as always in its product development and testing.
Earlier in July, Adam Jonas (Morgan Stanley) said –
“Our opinion is that it’s too big of an addressable market – they can’t ignore it. They can’t just give it to their competitors,” he added. “The car is the ultimate mobile device.”
Our opinion is that (as we all know) Apple has already started the work to disrupt to the Automobile market and Apple’s CarPlay could just be their first baby step towards Electric Apple Car. And given that it is Apple we are talking about, we should expect soon it will be time to ditch the petrol and the diesel cars and get the car chargers installed in our garages.
What do you think about Apple Car? Share you thoughts or views with us here.