We honestly can no longer remember when Apple’s behind-the-scenes efforts to stay at the forefront of technology first sparked rumors of the world’s most profitable smartphone-making company looking to tackle self-driving cars.
But for a good few years now, analysts, insiders and regular industry watchers have been able to agree something was cooking over in Cupertino to give Google, or rather Alphabet’s Waymo autonomous car development department a run for its money… someday.
Confidential plans were in a constant state of flux, and evidence remained slim as to actual internal progress, though we did find out from fairly credible sources last fall that the so-called Project Titan was refocused on software, cutting expenses and lowering ambitions.
Then again, if Apple can build the “very important core technology” needed to get electric vehicles to work on their own, we’re sure dozens of specialized automobile companies will fight tooth and nail for the privilege of licensing a groundbreaking “autonomous system” of sorts.
Why spend insane amounts of money on producing a driverless car from scratch when it’s easier, safer and cheaper to just work on “the mother of all AI projects”? All those quotes belong to CEO Tim Cook himself, who doesn’t want to keep mum on the “major disruption looming” here all of a sudden, unfortunately “not really saying from a product point of view what we will do.”
It might be connected to all three “vectors of change happening generally in the same time frame” for the automotive industry, namely self-driving technology, electric vehicles and ride-hailing, which means anything and everything is still on the table. Even a global Uber-challenging move to invest further in China’s Didi Chuxing.