Right now, we know that Apple works on a car-related project. However, as with most of the projects by the tech giant, not much is officially known. Obviously, Apple has many different projects that are secret and it is a certainty that at least one does involve cars. The company is looking at many different ways in which technology can change in the vehicles of the future.
While many vehicle owners now think about questions like can you buy an extended warranty for a used car in California, Apple was working on the iCar. This started in February 2015 and people thought that the reason was to give Tesla some competition.
The Wall Street Journal declared that the codename for the project is Titan and that there were hundreds of employees that were working on the car. Then, in June 2017, Tim Cook made the suggestion that the company was working on a new autonomous driving platform. In November 2017, more details appeared thanks to the VoxelNet 3D detection system. In May 2018, we learned that VW and Apple were working together but the project was not an autonomous car. The project was a driverless car that would shuttle employees.
Until we will see the official announcement about the iCar, we do not really know much that is official but it was mentioned that the official launch date was set for 2020.
What we know is that an automaker often spends 5 to 7 years to develop a vehicle. Since Apple started work on the car in 2015, we should start to learn more about it. However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, it is quite possible that plans were modified. As a result, many specialists think that 2021 will be the first time when we will see some important official details.
We should also highlight the fact that 200 employees were laid off during January 2020 from Apple. This news was confirmed by CNBC through a spokesperson at Apple that said people that were familiar were moved to some other projects. This is where machine learning and various other initiatives will be developed.
In a report by Gene Munster, Apple was mentioned as working on a special car-related project. He also said that the expectation was to launch in 2020, with the extra addition that an actual drivable car will take longer.
Robert Cihra from Guggenheim also added that Apple works on a car that is capable of self-driving. Toni Sacconaghi from Bernstein declared in July 2018 that Apple will spend close to $1 billion on autonomous vehicles.
So what will the Apple iCar feature? The pinpoint features cannot really be known but it is reported that Apple engineers are thinking about the following:
- Silent automatic doors.
- Interior without pedals or steering wheel for the autonomous vehicle.
- Augmented reality or virtual reality put into interior displays in order to increase entertainment.
- Spherical wheels for the purpose of allowing the vehicle to move sideways.
- An aesthetically pleasing system for driving that can replace the lidar system now used by other firms that develop autonomous cars.
As we can easily expect, this project will change from time to time and it already changed several times till now. Features like the ones mentioned above might not fully materialize for a while. However, the Apple iCar will surely develop something in the industry, with the trademark CarOS included.
On the whole, what we now know is that there are many different technologies being developed by Apple and we do not know what will make it into the final project. The only thing that we can actually do is to see what will happen when the announcement will be made.