Rumors are rife that technology giant Apple is looking to make an incursion into the rapidly growing electric car market. Although things are very much still under wraps, there is a distinct possibility that we may see an Apple car that will rival the enormous success of Tesla and other electric car brands in the not too distant future. In this article, we will look to shine a light on the progress Apple is making and what an Apple car may look like if its electric car program ever comes to fruition.
What We Know So Far
Apple has long harbored a desire to create an all-electric car for the mass consumer market. Since 2014, the tech giant has been working on “Project Titan”, a program which is focused on designing and building an autonomous driving system. Despite numerous early setbacks and mass layoffs of employees who had been working on the system, earlier suggestions that Apple may have shelved its plans for an Apple car to concentrate on building an autonomous driving software look to be wide of the mark.
In August 2018, Apple rehired former Tesla engineering prodigy to head the Titan Project. This was seen as a significant signal of intent by Apple and got people talking about a doubling down on its plans for electric cars.
In June 2019, Apple purchased Drive.ai, a startup specializing in driverless vehicle systems which use artificial intelligence. It retained a number of the company’s designers and engineers.
Rumor has it that Apple has leased a secret site in the San Francisco Bay Area to serve as a design, research and testing facility for its new car. It has also filed patents for several car design features as well as buying up the web domains related to possible Apple car names.
What Might an Apple Car Look Like?
There is wild speculation about what any potential iCar might look like and its functionality. However, it looks like Apple’s main objective is to create a car with ground-breaking driverless technology. In a Bloomberg interview in 2017, when Apple published research detailing its plans for a 3D detection system called VoxelNet, which reportedly has the capability to help driverless vehicles avoid collisions with cyclists and pedestrians.
A report from Business Insider in 2017 offered a glimpse of what the Apple car may features. According to the report, the car may feature doors which open and close automatically, a fully autonomous interior with no steering wheel or pedals, virtual or augmented reality displays, spherical wheels allowing for sideways movement and a revolutionary Apple-powered in-car entertainment system.
When Might the Car Be Released?
The truth is that we have no concrete information of when or even if an Apple car may ever hit the commercial markets. However, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has recently expressed the belief that Apple continues to work on an Apple-branded vehicle. Kuo went on to say that he expects the vehicle to be launched somewhere in the period between 2023 and 2025.