Will there ever be an Apple Car?
It has been eight years since Apple hinted at its arrival in the automotive world. And, of course, the apple brand announces (or rather sources familiar with the matter) various revolutionary technologies, including very high-end autonomous driving. In reality, we are far from the mark. Is Apple able to integrate this industry?
We have been talking about the potential arrival of a car signed or badged Apple for 8 years. At the time, the project was supposedly carried out in the greatest secrecy and the Apple brand even poached several big names in engineering from major manufacturers.
Like the Loch Ness monster, this automobile project resurfaces at maturity, but no one can see anything. Or know nothing. A survey has just been conducted on this subject by the site The Information, whose journalists had the opportunity to discuss with about twenty people involved in the project which therefore existed. The predicament is amusing..
We learn in particular that the manufacturer of iPhone and Mac (among others) probably sinned by overconfidence for this car project and in particular for the autonomous aspect of this automobile. Indeed, Apple would have embarked on the development of software that would never have been tested in reality (unlike what Tesla is doing by gradually adding its autonomous functionalities, or even Waymo or Google).
It is therefore not very surprising that this development was ultimately a failure since, by the very admission of those interviewed, the software in question was not capable of detecting obstacles and adapting the driving. Boring.
Apple has therefore displayed a little too much ambition. with Project Titan. As well as that of developing a completely new automobile, which is not an easy task (platform, electrical architecture, ground connections). It seems that the specialists recruited for the Titan project (that was its name) also quickly left due to the lack of support from the management. Some have also fatigued themselves by staging demonstrations on pre-determined routes and with unreliable technology.
The information also notes that there have already been a number of mishaps. Or were narrowly avoided, as last January when the theoretically autonomous car almost knocked over a pedestrian. The miracle took place, but only thanks to the intervention of the human driver in charge of monitoring the machine…
What about Apple’s car?
Well, the project is still in progress and still exists, which is absurd. Indeed, according to the information site, more than 1,000 people still work there full time and the brand’s investments at the pump amount to 1 billion dollars per year, or 1/22nd of the total investments devoted to development and research.
Do we still have faith in it?
Nothing is less certain, because it must be remembered that since 2011, Apple has not released anything revolutionary, as in the days of Steve Jobs. The brand appears to continue to thrive on its accomplishments and its reputation, with the exception of the Apple Watch and a few new services (although it is now creating “in-house” processors).
We also wonder why Apple persists knowing that today, there are several hardware suppliers (platform, electrical architecture, etc.) such as Foxconn (to whom Apple also subcontracts the construction of its smartphones) or Xiaomi. However, the Cupertino company’s culture probably does not support this.