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The Apple Car will not be announced until it is ready. That slow and steady approach is often adopted by Apple when working on new products. Cupertino-based companies usually choose to stop, evaluate the market, carefully analyze problem areas and find ways to improve. This is best proven by the iPhone.

If Apple wanted, it could have created a cell phone to compete with the 2005 Palm Pilots and BlackBerry. Still, with Steve Jobs. The focus was on creating a paragon of technology, not a version of what is currently available. Instead, Apple has developed technology that can make that vision a reality. Of course, the market has changed completely since the iPhone was announced. Apple can do the same in the automotive world. Perhaps.

Despite the swirling rumors of the Apple Car since 2014, there’s a reason Apple hasn’t created a Tesla competitor yet. As with the iPhone, Apple is developing the technology and spending as much time as it needs to achieve the perfect car. ..

Of course, fans and analysts continue to guess what Apple is trying to put together. But to know what Apple is doing, it’s best to understand how Apple works. And if there’s one idea that encapsulates Apple’s core development philosophy, it’s about making products that people didn’t know they wanted.

The Road to Apple’s Self-Driving

So far, we know that Apple is working on a fully self-driving car (AV), as evidenced by the Lexus RX450h test car, which is packed with cameras and sensors running around the city of Cupertino.

Bloomberg reports that Apple’s fully self-driving cars require little or no driver input in order to achieve Level 4 (L4) or Level 5 (L5) autonomy. The former is a completely autonomous experience, but the driver needs to drive to handle complex situations. Level 5 is a perfect future autonomy that does not require a driver.

In that same report, sources argue that Apple cars may hit the market in the next five to seven years. Reports have also surfaced that Apple has asked Kia to build a car at its Georgia plant in South Korea. But when those rumors began to gain momentum, Hyundai and Kia went back and claimed they were no longer in negotiations.

Apple is primarily a consumer software and hardware design company, not a manufacturing powerhouse. That’s what car companies really need, thanks to their complex tools and supply chain. But Cupertino is nothing new in the automotive world. It includes CarPlay, a software platform that allows you to blend features with iOS apps with compatible car infotainment units. This easy-to-use infotainment interface that runs on the iPhone shows how Apple can extend its software and hardware ecosystem to other areas. This shows how Apple is working on AV development.

Edward Sanches, Senior Automotive Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said: “The game-changing aspect that Apple can bring to the AV space is the experience / infotainment component.” Apple has long been a leader in UI / UX, users’ devices and Apple subscriptions. A truly seamless and integrated experience that synchronizes with can be a game changer, especially in the context of true L4 / L5 self-driving cars. “

(Image credit: Bloomberg) Apple Car: Software reinventing the wheel

Apple isn’t the only one rushing to bring AV to market. So do Google, General Motors, and a few other companies that want to free drivers from driving.

In order for the Apple Car to separate from the pack, at least as Sanches understands, Apple aims to create a user interface that other companies may not be able to handle. In other words, not only moving from point A to point B, but in-car experience can define the market.

Avi Greengart, Founder and Chief Analyst at Techsponential, said: “Automation and electrification mean that cars are becoming mechanically simple software-dependent transportation devices.” In that world, Apple is today’s engine and coachbuilder, which we call manufacturers. It’s more like a natural car provider. “

If this is where the future of transportation is heading, the car will be nothing more than a flat platform with a large battery pack and electric motor. If a company competes with engine size 0-60 times, the distinguishing factor is the software experience that AV can provide.

This is due to this software-first approach, where Apple has not set up a battery plant in California or an assembly plant in Detroit. On the iPhone, Apple continues to partner with manufacturers like Foxconn. Rumors about Kia may have disappeared, but Apple apparently wants to partner with a car maker to bring the car to market. And given Apple’s intensive quality control standards, it must be a company with a reputation for launching premium machines.

“I’m a little surprised that Magna isn’t noticeable in the reports I read,” Sanchez said. “They were one of the world’s leading consignment manufacturers, involved in the manufacture and development of Jaguar I-Pace and Sony Vision-S concept cars, as they are generally not consumer brands. Especially for the premium Genesis brand, the risk of brand dilution is reduced, as reported by Hyundai / Kia’s involvement. “

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide) Regulatory steering

Even if Apple makes the perfect L5AV, there are other regulatory cones that the entire car needs to slalom in the past. And it requires direct cooperation with the government.

“The Trump administration has adopted the infamous hands-off approach to regulation for the past four years,” Sanches said. “Companies took advantage of this, but the state-by-state approach to AV regulations and guidelines was very fragmented.”

For AV to be mass market responsive, companies will eventually need to work together to reach some criteria. At this time, President Biden is not talking about AV explicitly. Apart from dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, he has an ambitious Build Back Better plan that prioritizes the development of electric vehicles. At some point, Apple, Tesla, Google, and others need to start working with the federal government to understand how to bring AV to market safely. These next four years will be important.

Rumors suggesting that Apple may bring the L4 or L5AV to market in the next few years are overly optimistic. There are many obstacles in both regulation and technology before people fall asleep in the car while commuting.

Still, when claiming to consumers, whether Google or Tesla, it’s easy for everyone to explain the benefits that AV can offer. Not only does it reduce the burden of having to drive, it also makes the computer a much safer driver. According to the World Health Organization, road deaths remain the leading cause of death for children aged 5 to 29 and young adults, and the eighth leading cause of death in the world. According to the Department of Road Safety, 94-96% of all road fatalities are due to human error, so AV can significantly reduce these numbers.

For Apple, we need to show consumers how we can solve problems that other companies can’t. And while it’s not just about arriving safely at your destination, the experience they have along the way can be of utmost importance.

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