You know the name; you’ve seen their products; you’ve more than likely purchased a few of them at one point or another. They’re one of the most valuable and recognizable companies in the world. The empire that Apple has built is a wonder to behold. And that empire was built on technology and software, but now, the company may be getting into the automotive industry.
There have been rumors of Apple entering the automotive industry for quite some time, and for a moment, it had appeared as if nothing would come of it. But just a few months ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the company is indeed working on a self-driving car; in a manner of speaking.
While there have been several documents and files that have led the public to believe that Apple was working on a full-fledged, self-driving vehicle, it turns out, according to Cook himself, that the company is really working on the software side of things. Based on Cook’s description of the project as being “one of the most difficult AI projects to work on,” it is assumed that the company was originally working on creating a complete vehicle, but as the project became much more difficult, they scaled it down and instead chose to focus on software.
In essence, this means that Apple will ditch their long-lasting tradition of manufacturing both hardware and software, and instead create only the software. And Apple has already released a similar feature. Apple CarPlay is a software that can be installed into the infotainment system of almost any vehicle. The software acts as something of a conduit for the driver’s existing iPhone. With CarPlay, drivers can play music from their phone, use the iPhone’s built in navigation, and even respond to texts and make use of Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri.
Since Apple is no stranger to automobile software, this project should be familiar territory. That is not to say that this project will not be difficult, as creating software to allow for autonomous driving is vastly more complex than creating software for multimedia use.
In short, Apple is more than likely going to steer away from developing a self-driving car; they will, however, focus on creating software for cars to drive themselves. And although the prospect of having Apple, who is renowned for their stable software, create self-driving software for vehicles, one can’t help but wonder just how amazing it would have been to get behind the wheel of the Apple Car.