First the iPod, then the likes of the iMac and iPhone followed by the iWatch. When will we be able to see the very first iCar hit the streets? It could or could not happen, but one thing is for sure that certainly brings such an idea closer to reality -- Apple has managed to pick up a California DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) permit which allows Cupertino to test out its self-driving car on public roads, if it has such a thing in the pipeline that is.
Apple was added to the growing list of companies that have gained permission from the California DMV to test out self-driving vehicles in the Golden state. This is seen by many industrial analysts and fans alike that the company is interested in a future of self-driving cars. Does this mean that Project Titan, which is Apple’s possible move into the world of autonomous vehicles, will be able to persuade Tesla owners with Autopilot equipped vehicles to make the jump? Now that would be an interesting proposition.
There are whispers going around that Apple is developing and maturing its secret automotive project at a facility which is simply known as "SG5", located in Sunnyvale, California. A shell company with the name "SixtyEight Research" has been deemed to be an innocent front, as throwing the name Apple into the mix would be way too obvious for the company’s liking. After all, Apple had always preferred to work in the background for its products, which is why apart from the iPhone, internal leaks have always been pretty hard to come by -- and by this, I do not mean that new iPhones have their design and model photo leaked out all the time, either.
This is the next positive step taken by Apple where autonomous driving is concerned after Apple sent in a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in November last year. As to whether Apple is working on a complete autonomous vehicle from scratch (which is not likely considering the costs and R&D required), the more feasible rumor that we would lean on would be to see Apple focus on an autonomous driving platform, partnering with an automaker for the hardware while Apple provides the “brains”.
Some of the other rumors floating around point to Apple rolling out a completed autonomous car as early as 2019, but that does seem to be a rather unrealistic date in the timeline. Anything from 2021 onward is a whole lot more viable, as coming up with a car is not something that any company is able to do, not to mention having to work out the kinks and creases along the way.
No prizes for guessing that whatever Apple does with an autonomous car -- be it one that they have built from scratch, or one that is completed in partnership with another company, it will most definitely arrive with Apple CarPlay, and has charging sockets that will cater specifically for Apple products. What do you think -- would you purchase an iCar?