The world’s biggest tech firm, Apple, has confirmed it will be following its contemporary Google into the car-making business.
However, unlike Google’s committed attempts to launch a driverless car, it’s still unclear as to what Apple actually intend to do
Speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJDLive conference on Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “It would seem like there will be massive change in (the automotive) industry, massive change.”
Rather than dispending with the driver, all Cook would say was that Apple intended to bring the “iPhone experience” to cars through a system it calles CarPlay.
CarPlay is basically an in-car system that makes a car’s dash similar to an iPhone. You can send and receive texts, make appointments and use Apple’s map system.
Despite claiming it merely wanted to play in the infotainment space many insiders believe the tech giant wants to build a driverless car similar to Google’s grand plans. US media reports have said that Apple lawyers have even met with the relevant officials in the US to test the legality of a driverless car.
And Apple and Google aren’t alone in their race to get rid of drivers. Apparently Uber are also testing the driverless waters with its own plans for autonomous, electric-powered vehicles.
In an interview with B&T in July, former News boss and driverless car fan Kim Williams said: “As is the case in San Francisco at the moment, the maximum wait time for an Uber response is two and a half minutes. Now if you can get to an environment where you have a maximum response time of two and a half minutes to get someone to take you from A to B inside a city and you have that sort of extraordinary efficient utility then you quickly move to thinking ‘I don’t need to have a car’.
“Most people would use their car for maybe five per cent of their waking hours in a week? Ten per cent if they’re really heavy users? So 90 per cent of the time the car is not being used. It’s a tremendously dead piece of capital investment.
“If most of your time is spent in cities, where, frankly, driving is not a particularly pleasant thing; it’s some sort of kind of judgemental combat with others in order to advance by seconds in front of them; empowering an enormously dangerous activity on a regular basis – and you can see the results of that in any intensive care in hospitals all over Australia.
“If you can replace that with something that is safe, secure and immediate, and it takes you from A to B efficiently and, in fact, because it’s talking to all the other devices efficiently, then of course, you’ll say yes,” Williams said.