Apple Car - Fact or Fiction?

Tuesday 24th, Feb 2015

Apple is renowned for having innovative technology and a knack for breaking into new industries. In fact, their widespread success with the iPhones and iPods along with their groundbreaking innovation of the iPad has seen the company constantly on the front of technological advancements. Recently, rumours have been rampant about Apple possibly having a "minivan-like" electric car in the works. This project, labelled, 'Project Titan' is stated to compete with Tesla Motors but whether or not this is a viable project for the tech giant is up for discussion.

Rumours of an 'iCar' have been around for while ever since Apple board member, Mickey Drexler, stated in an interview that prior to his death, Steve Jobs had been thinking of getting into automotives. He is quoted as saying, "Steve Jobs, if he had lived, was going to design an iCar." These rumours recently gained traction when Apple was sued by A123 Systems, an advanced electric vehicle battery manufacturer, for trying to poach its employees to work on 'Project Titan'. Although, Apple has not yet commented on the lawsuit or the poaching allegations, the lawsuit itself has fueled rumours of the possible 'iCar'. The rumours have been furthered by the sightings of an Apple car in San Francisco covered in cameras and scanning equipment.

However, is building a brand new car really in the tech giant's DNA? It is quite possible that Apple is merely working on the revolution of integrated in-car features such as audio/video communication, safety features and navigation with their own Apple maps for future automobiles. In fact, Apple might be working on customising an existing car with brand new features that elevate the user experience. After all, Apple is best known for having an amazing user interface. The sightings of the Apple car equipped with sensors and cameras would justify this view; a state-of-the-art car digital experience would require the collection of an immense amount of data to determine progressive methods of navigation and safety.

Despite these rumours, according to The Economist, Apple is not the only tech company geared towards the automotive industry. In fact, in February of this year, Uber reportedly opened a robotics research laboratory in Pittsburgh to develop an autonomous taxi fleetĀ while Sony has invested in Japanese robotics start-up, ZMP, which aims to produce a self-driving car. And, of course, Google has been rumoured to have a driverless car in the works for years. Nevertheless, Boston.com has stated that, "only time will tell" if Apple really is working on a motor vehicle but "the possibility sure is exciting".