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Steve Jobs wanted to build 'iCar,' Apple board member says

post #1 of 92
Thread Starter 
J. Crew CEO and Apple board member Mickey Drexler claims that the tech giant's co-founder Steve Jobs had aspirations of designing a full-fledged automobile.

During a recent interview with Fast Company's Innovation Uncensored conference this week, Drexler said that Jobs wanted to build a so-called "iCar" before his death in 2011.

"Look at the car industry, it's a tragedy in America. Who's designing the cars?" Drexler said. "Steve's dream before he died was to design an iCar and I think it would've been probably 50% of the market. He never did design it."

Drexler also alluded to the much-rumored Apple television, saying that the company would be "dealing with" the living room at some point in the near future. It is unclear whether the board member has any specific information regarding a release, and his statement is most likely based on speculation.



The J. Crew chief also said that he wouldn't want to be in Tim Cook's shoes because it is more difficult to take the reins of an already-successful company that one that is failing.

Drexler, who has been a member of Apple's board since 1999, was formerly the CEO of clothing brand Gap before being fired in 2002. He was subsequently hired by J. Crew and has been attempting to rebrand the company as a high-end American fashion boutique.
post #2 of 92

"Steve wanted to do something, but he didn't."

 

And somehow that's news? I'm certain he wanted to make a car, but that's not Apple's forte, nor was it critically important.

 

Quote:

Drexler also alluded to the much-rumored Apple television, saying that the company would be "dealing with" the living room at some point in the near future.

 

In other news, Drexler has been ousted from the Apple board of directors.

 

So, given that there are no links in this article that allow us to see what he really said, could you explain how this alludes to the television in any way?

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #3 of 92

If Microsoft Built Cars… 
1. Every time they repainted the lines on the road, you’d have to buy a new car.
2. Occasionally your car would just die on the motorway for no reason, and you’d have to restart it. For some strange reason, you’d just accept this, restart and drive on.
3. Your car would inexplicably get slower over time and, every 3-6 months, it would simply grind to halt and fail to restart. At this point, you’d have to reinstall the engine. For some strange reason, you’d just accept this too.
4. Apple would make a car that was powered by the sun, was three times more reliable, fast, and easy to drive–but most people wouldn’t know it or believe it.
5. Apple car owners would get expensive Microsoft upgrades to their cars which would make their cars go much slower.
6. Microsoft would replace the oil, engine, gas and alternator warning lights with a single “General Car Fault” warning light.
7. People would get excited about the “new” features in Microsoft cars, not knowing that they had been available in Apple’s cars for many years.
8. Microsoft cars would come with 5-year-old Apple car paint jobs, but they’d be the same crappy Microsoft car underneath.
9. If you were involved in a crash, you’d have no idea what happened.
10. Before deploying, the airbag system would ask “Cancel or Allow?”

post #4 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by boriscleto View Post
Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads."

 

That was a lot of extra formatting code. lol.gif

 

For an iCar, I'd imagine the frame would be made of one piece of aluminum and the door seams wouldn't be visible when they're shut… 

 

Lights would be handled by strips of LEDs instead of single lights… I wonder if I could mock that up… 

 

nano-engineered-audi-a9-futuristic-car-03.jpg

 

Can't mock it up… BUT, lights like the back strip here, except all the way around the vehicle at that same thickness. So when you're turning left, the entire left half of the strip will blink. When you're braking, the entire back half of the strip will be red. And the strip wouldn't have to be fully horizontal; you could design the vehicle around the lighting. 

 

Anyone else with iCar ideas?


Edited by Tallest Skil - 5/17/12 at 1:55pm

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #5 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So, given that there are no links in this article that allow us to see what he really said, could you explain how this alludes to the television in any way?

Link IS in the article but the comments are in the video so you can find out exactly what he said by clicking the play button.

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post #6 of 92

With $100B in pocket and much expertise in Li-Ion battery chemistry and management they can certainly disrupt the auto industry too.

post #7 of 92
Did Steve call it "iCar" or is that Drexler's name for it? Seriously.

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post #8 of 92
I wish they would at least redo the car stereo.
post #9 of 92

ex-board member ;-)

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #10 of 92

self-driving

post #11 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

ex-board member ;-)

 

Shouldn't this fool Drexler still be under an NDA restricting him from divulging information gleaned from his stint serving on the Apple board?

 

Sue him!

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post #12 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
self-driving

 

Driven by Google.™

 

And before the end of this decade, we'll start seeing that horrifying phrase on new cars… 

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #13 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

I wish they would at least redo the car stereo.

 

They did...it's called the iPod.

 

Seriously though, I've thought the same thing, then realized the only think I ever use my car stereo for is as a plug-in point for my iPod. It actually kinda sucks that I have had to pay for all the other crap (and look at all the crap) on a full-blown car stereo for this.

 

The most I could see Apple doing is some kind of in dash iPod dock: Jump in. Plug in. Drive away. But then anyone can do that and they'd probably not sell enough to make it worth the R&D, engineering and marketing costs.

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post #14 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 I'm certain he wanted to make a car, but that's not Apple's forte, nor was it critically important.

 

If Steve had built a car and it was 'revolutionary' in the same sense that much of Apple's work has been, how could it not have been critically important? The car is pretty fundamental to the life style of most of Apple's customers, and probably well beyond that group, too. In essence it would no doubt have been a computer with wheels, seats and a touch screen. 

post #15 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

That was a lot of extra formatting code. lol.gif

For an iCar, I'd imagine the frame would be made of one piece of aluminum and the door seams wouldn't be visible when they're shut… 

Lights would be handled by strips of LEDs instead of single lights… I wonder if I could mock that up… 

Anyone else with iCar ideas?

You'd tell Siri the destination, and the car would deliver you there.
Also, all surfaces would be retina displays.
It could only be parked in a walled garden at night.
Where ever you go, it would attract the wrong kind of attention from protesters like Greenpeace and Mike Daisey, who would berate owners for contributing to the woes of the planet.
Samsung would copy its design and fanboys would claim Apple didn't invent the car.
It would be entirely made from aluminum and glass.
It would be completely symmetrical along both axes.
Dieter Rams would buy one.
It would be one color initially: black. Followed by white.
The lights would be hidden behind aluminum body panels and appear to shine through the metal.
It would run 500 miles on three unicorn tears.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #16 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

J. Crew CEO and Apple board member Mickey Drexler claims that the tech giant's co-founder Steve Jobs had aspirations of designing a full-fledged automobile.

 

And then he realized that he probably wouldn't be able to do half of the cool stuff (and simplifying stuff) he would want to do because of extremely detailed government regulations governing cars.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Look at the car industry, it's a tragedy in America. Who's designing the cars?"

 

Congress.

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post #17 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Driven by Google.™

 

And before the end of this decade, we'll start seeing that horrifying phrase on new cars… 

I'm looking forward to it, even if it is Google. An extra half hour's sleep each morning while my car drives me to work.

post #18 of 92

For years I've suspected that Apple's experience with power systems management and engineering battery life improvements would one day lead to their developing either a vehicle of some kind or a system that could be used to power a vehicle or a home. If they haven't already built protos for this kind of thing, they may already have applied for patents... that we'll discover in ten years.

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post #19 of 92

You can't rebrand J. Crew as a high-end American fashion boutique if you're selling low-end crap!! Has anybody here even been in a J. Crew recently? The clothes are atrocious.

post #20 of 92

The original Aptera, before the usurper auto exec kicked out the company's two founders and redesigned it into a bloated McDonald's drive-thru capable machine. It is a masterpiece of simplicity, energy efficiency, ease of repair, durability, and good design. Almost no moving parts, and safe as an Indy race machine. Electric or hybrid, your choice. An iCar if ever there was one. Check out Jay Leno's test drive at his web site: even in its bloated final form, it still drove insanely well.

 

Pity a Chinese investor bought all the IP and molds. BTW: they are building them in China. Aptera is not dead; it came back to life last week. But it is no longer American.

post #21 of 92

Give it three wheels, and it's a motorcycle. Car rules do not apply...

post #22 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catbeller View Post

Aptera is not dead; it came back to life last week. But it is no longer American.

 

Who cares?

 

Great ideas, products, designs, etc. can (and should) come from anywhere.

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post #23 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Did Steve call it "iCar" or is that Drexler's name for it? Seriously.

The bubble gum pink version would be dubbed by the automotive pundits as the iCarley.

 

The windshield would be made of gorilla glass with a special coating to prevent smears and insect juice adhesion. 

 

All the driver's controls would be replaced with a simple touch pad and voice controls.

 

Externally, the Google developed Androgynous® will look uncannily similar to the iCar but will be given away free to chop shops to rebuild and import into the USA. Samsung will quickly move to the forefront of this business model but will be made of black plastic and be controlled by a stylus. Google will struggle to make any money off of Androgynous® even though every vehicle will prominently display Google ads everywhere on the car body. Owners, who are Google+ members will also have their private lives scrolling across the LED - displays in the top of the front and back windows. This will not be optional, but a "free feature."

 

Five years after the introduction of the iCar, Microsoft will announce a Windows version controlled primarily by text input via a keyboard. Analysts will laude the Microsoft WinMoCar14 for it's "time-proven" input system and the impressive specs of the gas tank capacity, quad-carburetor input ports, and rear differential gearing. Projections quickly show that Microsoft will quickly be a major player in the Apple iCar market even though a single WinMoCar14 has yet to be shipped.

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #24 of 92

The point is the mind of Steve Jobs knew no boundaries. He was willing to consider anything, to attempt the impossible, to fail miserably and try again. Guys like him are very rare. I'm sure the CEO of J. Crew is not nearly in the same league as Steve Jobs in terms of vision. Jobs was a true futurist and made it happen many times in his lifetime.

post #25 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

The point is the mind of Steve Jobs knew no boundaries. He was willing to consider anything, to attempt the impossible, to fail miserably and try again. Guys like him are very rare.

 

This.

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post #26 of 92

or...

 

The cupholders would be square, and Apple would expect the entire beverage industry to adapt.

 

You'd have to agree to the updated iCar Terms & Conditions every second time you needed to go somewhere.

 

Having it serviced anywhere but at a JiffyJenius (bar) would void the warranty.

 

It would have no sun visors 'cause they aren't aesthetically pleasing (the iCar dealers would be trained to respond "why would you want to drive west anyway?" :)


Edited by Habanero - 5/17/12 at 3:18pm
post #27 of 92

How does he go from iPhone to iCar without reinventing one of the most aggravating, distracting things that sit in between both?  The car stereo system.

post #28 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy View Post

How does he go from iPhone to iCar without reinventing one of the most aggravating, distracting things that sit in between both?  The car stereo system.

 

It would be just like iPhone, all-in-one solution: a car, a stereo system, Siri-based navigation, an autopilot.

Unfortunately it is not Apple who is really building the car, but the Evil Empire (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdgQpa1pUUE)

post #29 of 92

And they would be built in China by FoxConn and made from Liquid Metal.

post #30 of 92

It's magical, revolutionary, the best car you've ever seen. There's no steering wheel, it's all screen. 


Although, I do love the Tesla Model S with its large 17" screen instead of lots of buttons. Maybe an iCar would be like that. 

post #31 of 92

... and the Apple iCar would be magical and cost $45,445,665,446,776,445 and people would still buy it.

post #32 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

The point is the mind of Steve Jobs knew no boundaries. He was willing to consider anything, to attempt the impossible, to fail miserably and try again. Guys like him are very rare. I'm sure the CEO of J. Crew is not nearly in the same league as Steve Jobs in terms of vision. Jobs was a true futurist and made it happen many times in his lifetime.

Just because one thinks about doing everything does not mean they cannot and will not fail or that they are one of a kind. LOTS of people think outside of their skill set and fail miserably. Jobs made nice electronic toys that took the brain out of using them, which was his skill. He perfected what he stole from Xerox and others and then went ballistic when others copied him. He was a control freak, impossible to work with or for, and wanted to make billions for the company, and give nothing back to society. Well done. Massive market cap and that is it, quite the legacy. Wall Street and its band of thieving executives are proud.

post #33 of 92

I had actually been wishing Apple would take a stab at making a car. It would be a real challenge because there's so much about the design that is caved in stone.

Touch screens are terrible for cars. I think they probably would have gone with voice activation.
 

post #34 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apfeltosh View Post

Just because one thinks about doing everything does not mean they cannot and will not fail or that they are one of a kind. LOTS of people think outside of their skill set and fail miserably. Jobs made nice electronic toys that took the brain out of using them, which was his skill. He perfected what he stole from Xerox and others and then went ballistic when others copied him. He was a control freak, impossible to work with or for, and wanted to make billions for the company, and give nothing back to society. Well done. Massive market cap and that is it, quite the legacy. Wall Street and its band of thieving executives are proud.

Ooooo you said the S word.
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post #35 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


You'd tell Siri the destination, and the car would deliver you there.
Also, all surfaces would be retina displays.
It could only be parked in a walled garden at night.
Where ever you go, it would attract the wrong kind of attention from protesters like Greenpeace and Mike Daisey, who would berate owners for contributing to the woes of the planet.
Samsung would copy its design and fanboys would claim Apple didn't invent the car.
It would be entirely made from aluminum and glass.
It would be completely symmetrical along both axes.
Dieter Rams would buy one.
It would be one color initially: black. Followed by white.
The lights would be hidden behind aluminum body panels and appear to shine through the metal.
It would run 500 miles on three unicorn tears.

You forgot the most important thing that has been on everyones request list, 

The glass would be non -reflective matt finish

post #36 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

That was a lot of extra formatting code. lol.gif

 

For an iCar, I'd imagine the frame would be made of one piece of aluminum and the door seams wouldn't be visible when they're shut… 

 

Lights would be handled by strips of LEDs instead of single lights… I wonder if I could mock that up… 

 

nano-engineered-audi-a9-futuristic-car-03.jpg

 

Can't mock it up… BUT, lights like the back strip here, except all the way around the vehicle at that same thickness. So when you're turning left, the entire left half of the strip will blink. When you're braking, the entire back half of the strip will be red. And the strip wouldn't have to be fully horizontal; you could design the vehicle around the lighting. 

 

Anyone else with iCar ideas?

 

Steve as a minimalist would be easy to see what styles of cars he admired by the ones he drove. Those rims would be bashed for their glow.

post #37 of 92

iCar.png


Edited by GMHut - 5/17/12 at 4:13pm
post #38 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post
Steve as a minimalist would be easy to see what styles of cars he admired by the ones he drove. Those rims would be bashed for their glow.

 

Oh, absolutely. I don't think that any more than a single aspect of any one concept car today would have made it into an Apple-designed car.

 

Not that they still can't make one, that is. I'm sure Jonathan Ive could create the most beautiful car on the planet, but then it would be up to everyone else to get it fully electric.

 

Note that Apple's basically the best company to MAKE a car of the future-present. Their battery tech is second to none. They really ought to think about scaling that up and selling it to car manufacturers, at least.

 

With Apple-made, Lithium-Ion, 500 mile range batteries that charge to 80% in an hour, there won't be much of an excuse not to buy an electric car.

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #39 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by GMHut View Post

 

Every time you apply the brakes you delete an app.

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post #40 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by GMHut View Post

LL

LOL
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