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Apple looks to bolster its iOS vehicle integration team as its automotive push grows

post #1 of 23
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A series of newly posted Apple job openings, along with recent automotive initiatives, offer further evidence that the company plans to become a serious player in the in-car technology market.

Eyes Free


Talk of a possible Apple-built vehicle dashboard has grown in recent months as Apple has forged a close partnership with Ferrari. This week, the luxury car maker revealed it is in talks with Apple about car infotainment systems, while Apple executive Eddy Cue joined Ferrari's board of directors last November.Apple's new car-centric job listings come as a number of vehicle makers have announced integration with iOS and Siri.

Now AppleInsider has also discovered a series of recent job postings related to car integration for Apple's iOS platform. One such listing for an In-Car Software Quality Assurance Manager was posted by the company on Wednesday.

"Apple is looking for a Software Quality Assurance Manager to drive iPod/iPhone/iPad integration testing with car stereos," the listing reads. "In this role you will be a hands-on manager, guiding the team to test car stereo compatibility with iOS products."

The latest listing is joined by two more posted in late February seeking employees for the company's iOS Communication Applications Group, concentrating on "iOS Car Services." The available positions are related to application and framework development for Apple's mobile platform.



The listings suggest that if Apple is in fact planning to push even further into the automotive space, the iOS platform would unsurprisingly be at the center of that initiative.

While some vehicles have offered iPod integration with Apple's media players for years, the company renewed its automotive efforts last year when it announced Siri Eyes Free. The feature, built in to iOS 6, allows drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel while controlling their phone entirely through voice.

With Siri Hands Free, the iPhone screen stays turned off to not distract the driver. Since Siri talks back to a user out loud, drivers can control many functions on their iPhone with just the press of a button and the use of their voice.Apple showed a renewed interest in vehicle integration last year, with the debut of Siri Eyes Free support in iOS 6.

A number of auto makers have already announced their support for Siri Eyes Free in their upcoming vehicles. And Ferrari also announced this week that its new FF coupe will have two iPad minis in the back seat for entertainment.

While Apple's automotive push to date has been integration with its existing portable accessories, some have speculated that the iPhone maker could create an entire vehicle entertainment and navigation suite that would replace current offerings from car makers.

Possibilities for new ways of integrating Apple devices in cars have also been revealed by the company's patent applications. One filing publicized last week showed a versatile magnetic stand that could hold an iPad from the ceiling of a vehicle to act as a navigation or entertainment system.
post #2 of 23

If they're honestly doing this, I'd like to see an iOS-based solution replace what Tesla uses now.

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post #3 of 23
I think TV, watches and in car entertainment are the next pushes for Apple, maybe also home automation.

Will be curious to see how this plays out.
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

If they're honestly doing this, I'd like to see an iOS-based solution replace what Tesla uses now.

Me too, but I think Musk is infatuated with Google and thinks Apple without Jobs is through innovating.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

If they're honestly doing this, I'd like to see an iOS-based solution replace what Tesla uses now.

 

The level of integration between Tesla's software and the car woud generally rule out third party software. And if Tesla uses anything they'll use something open source that they can control. They most certainly will not hand over their most critical UI component on a platter to another company.
Edited by Jetz - 3/6/13 at 12:01pm
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post


Me too, but I think Musk is infatuated with Google and thinks Apple without Jobs is through innovating.

 

Musk should be infatuated with Google. Google Ventures and Google's founders themselves are investors in his company. And they provided that funding at some real low points in the company's history. Tesla has no relationship with Apple that I've ever heard of.
post #7 of 23

This can't come soon enough! One's mobile device (as they are becoming ubiquitous now) should take the role of the heart of the "system." Much like people are commenting that making a full TV set doesn't make sense since the panel is good for many years while the electronics would need to be refreshed every couple years to stay current, I see car systems the same way. Most people don't want to buy a new car just so they can use their new mobile device with it or get the latest Nav technology. Seeing Apple's recent patent for interaction between one's mobile device and another device (screen, GPS, etc) really gave me some hope that this could be coming. The one potentially huge roadblock is the car companies giving up or sharing their electronics revenue stream.

post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Me too, but I think Musk is infatuated with Google and thinks Apple without Jobs is through innovating.

Musk should be infatuated with Google. Google Ventures and Google's founders themselves are investors in his company. And they provided that funding at some real low points in the company's history. Tesla has no relationship with Apple that I've ever heard of.

Being appreciative of the capital investment is understandable, but the infatuation I referred to is deeper than that. I have taken a test drive in a Model S and when I saw that the car was using Google Maps, I started talking to the salesman about Google. Tesla is aligning itself with Google to an alarming extent, at least to someone who considers Google to be unscrupulous. It put me off wanting to own one.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheUnfetteredMind View Post

This can't come soon enough! One's mobile device (as they are becoming ubiquitous now) should take the role of the heart of the "system." Much like people are commenting that making a full TV set doesn't make sense since the panel is good for many years while the electronics would need to be refreshed every couple years to stay current, I see car systems the same way. Most people don't want to buy a new car just so they can use their new mobile device with it or get the latest Nav technology. Seeing Apple's recent patent for interaction between one's mobile device and another device (screen, GPS, etc) really gave me some hope that this could be coming. The one potentially huge roadblock is the car companies giving up or sharing their electronics revenue stream.


That's definitely not the only roadblock. I recently went to a tech superstore looking for a car radio for my girlfriend. The display wall was full of slots for about 200 radios, but most were empty and in fact only 3 manufacturers were represented at all. Seems that the integration of ICE has killed the market. But for many people, the deep integration with last year's ICE entertainment and the inability to install "the next big thing" may be more of a disadvantage. The driver for the Auto industry in Europe is actually the used car market. Many people buy a new car every year or 2, depending on the resale value of the "old" car to make it financially possible. Similarly there is a VERY large market segment that buys single-owner cars under 1 year old .... since the price drops about 15% the day the car gets registered. The first owner takes the hit.  So if an ICE manufacturer falls from grace, then that will also impact the resale value of the car itself, in a way that may be hard to predict. Could backfire on both Apple and the car manufacturers.

post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundvision View Post

I think TV, watches and in car entertainment are the next pushes for Apple, maybe also home automation.

Will be curious to see how this plays out.

It's interesting that there's little discussion of Apple in home automation. To me, that makes far more sense then an Apple-branded television. It's an established market, but with relatively low penetration because most of the existing solutions are either clumsy or require professional installation and setup. Apple could make a home automation system for the masses.

However, please don't tell that to Wall Street. We'll see a whole new round of rumors around Apple and home automation - and then the stock will lose another 20% if it doesn't happen overnight.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #11 of 23

I don't see how a robot car is ever going to work in the real world. People are still going to need to know how to drive when an unexpected event pops up they must take the wheel. In order to do that, you would have to be just as alert as if you were driving the car in the first place. This idea is just like the science fiction android robots. The level of artificial intelligence necessary is almost insurmountable. How long has Honda been working on Asimo and that thing can barely pour a glass of water.

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post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post


Being appreciative of the capital investment is understandable, but the infatuation I referred to is deeper than that. I have taken a test drive in a Model S and when I saw that the car was using Google Maps, I started talking to the salesman about Google. Tesla is aligning itself with Google to an alarming extent, at least to someone who considers Google to be unscrupulous. It put me off wanting to own one.

 

You're a rarity. It's only die-hard Apple fanatics who have a hate-on for Google that would take this point of view. The rest of us normal folk don't care. If I had the justification to buy a Model S (I have the funds, just not the rationale), I would do so in a heartbeat. But then again, I don't have sleepless nights worrying about Google's spying. I worked in the intelligence community at one point. That experience removes any illusion of privacy that I had. And it has also given me a profound understanding of how much practitioners in that field respect privacy laws and such. Besides which I don't doubt for a second that if Apple or Microsoft were capable of making as much as Google from ads, that they wouldn't resort to exactly the same sort of behaviour. Setting aside privacy concerns why bother dealing with Apple? What does Apple have to offer? Apple would not have co-operated with Tesla when they were a risky start-up. And it's unlikely Apple will ever co-operate with Tesla to build the type of all encompassing software that Tesla deploys on the Model S. And lastly on this front, Apple Maps. For better or for worse, Google Maps are recognized as being at the top of the heap. Apple Maps might just be marketing liability for Tesla. Not to mention that Apple would probably make it challenging for Tesla to integrate the maps with other functions (like charge station finding). All in all, Apple would probably be a very difficult company to work with for Tesla. And those difficulties would be an utter waste of resources for a small company like Tesla. Maybe down the road when Tesla is bigger and has more resources. But then again, I can't ever see a control freak like Musk ever giving another company a veto over anything on his baby. In any event, your loss if you don't want a Model S. And no harm to Tesla (or my stock portfolio); there's thousands more who want the car.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Being appreciative of the capital investment is understandable, but the infatuation I referred to is deeper than that. I have taken a test drive in a Model S and when I saw that the car was using Google Maps, I started talking to the salesman about Google. Tesla is aligning itself with Google to an alarming extent, at least to someone who considers Google to be unscrupulous. It put me off wanting to own one.

You're a rarity. It's only die-hard Apple fanatics who have a hate-on for Google that would take this point of view. The rest of us normal folk don't care. If I had the justification to buy a Model S (I have the funds, just not the rationale), I would do so in a heartbeat. But then again, I don't have sleepless nights worrying about Google's spying. I worked in the intelligence community at one point. That experience removes any illusion of privacy that I had. And it has also given me a profound understanding of how much practitioners in that field respect privacy laws and such. Besides which I don't doubt for a second that if Apple or Microsoft were capable of making as much as Google from ads, that they wouldn't resort to exactly the same sort of behaviour. Setting aside privacy concerns why bother dealing with Apple? What does Apple have to offer? Apple would not have co-operated with Tesla when they were a risky start-up. And it's unlikely Apple will ever co-operate with Tesla to build the type of all encompassing software that Tesla deploys on the Model S. And lastly on this front, Apple Maps. For better or for worse, Google Maps are recognized as being at the top of the heap. Apple Maps might just be marketing liability for Tesla. Not to mention that Apple would probably make it challenging for Tesla to integrate the maps with other functions (like charge station finding). All in all, Apple would probably be a very difficult company to work with for Tesla. And those difficulties would be an utter waste of resources for a small company like Tesla. Maybe down the road when Tesla is bigger and has more resources. But then again, I can't ever see a control freak like Musk ever giving another company a veto over anything on his baby. In any event, your loss if you don't want a Model S. And no harm to Tesla (or my stock portfolio); there's thousands more who want the car.

You are projecting your iPhobic fantasies onto me. I'm not going to go back and forth with you over this.
post #14 of 23

Wish this were coming to Ford, as I rely on my Sync system exclusively and rarely take my eyes off the road anymore thanks to it's voice control functionality. Seeing how Sync is a Microsoft product, though, I don't see that happening. Oh well.

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundvision View Post

I think TV, watches and in car entertainment are the next pushes for Apple, maybe also home automation.

Will be curious to see how this plays out.

I agree but would use the more general television connected and wearable computers for TV and watches, respectively.

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post #16 of 23
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post
The level of integration between Tesla's software and the car woud generally rule out third party software. And if Tesla uses anything they'll use something open source that they can control. They most certainly will not hand over their most critical UI component on a platter to another company.

 

Thought they were using Android right now. But if it's their own custom stuff, all the more reason to partner with Apple, who makes a living on integration.


Originally Posted by mstone View Post
I don't see how a robot car is ever going to work in the real world. People are still going to need to know how to drive when an unexpected event pops up they must take the wheel. In order to do that, you would have to be just as alert as if you were driving the car in the first place.

 

No one will be allowed to get behind the wheel of a car if they cannot drive, but the ability to drive will be a last resort rather than a requirement. Should catastrophic failure occur, forcing the human to take full control, they'd be alerted to such.


The level of artificial intelligence necessary is almost insurmountable.

 

But they already exist…

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post #17 of 23
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Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

No one will be allowed to get behind the wheel of a car if they cannot drive, but the ability to drive will be a last resort rather than a requirement. Should catastrophic failure occur, forcing the human to take full control, they'd be alerted to such.

 

You mean like humans do when the automatic stock trading algorithms go hay wire and billions of not existent shares get traded for pennies on the dollar? Sure, they sit down and figure out what went wrong and reset the program and nullify the trades. There is no command+z in automobile driving. While you are chit-chatting on the phone at 70mph if a catastrophic failure happens you will be alerted one nano second before you are at the point of no return.

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post #18 of 23
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
There is no command+z in automobile driving. While you are chit-chatting on the phone at 70mph if a catastrophic failure happens you will be alerted one nano second before you are at the point of no return.


Then the system is worthless and should never be in a shipping product. But existing systems are better than that.

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post #19 of 23

This is great news. Increasingly it seems, android is seen as the natural platform for integration of higher level services with low-level functionality, as witnessed in Tesla's Model S (and as discussed elsewhere here) and a recently launched android phone controlled satellite (http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/10/android-cell-phone-powers-space-satellite). However, actual control of sophisticated, high performance systems requires a real-time operating system (RTOS), which I believe neither android nor iOS is (the satellite probably used other, low-level processors as well, again, don't know for sure). Apple however, must have experience with RTOSs due to the requirements for example of the Apple TV. Perhaps Apple is even more experienced in RTOS design and implementation than the competition, I don't know but would like to see this and even perhaps an RTiOS. If Apple can supply a robust, deterministic RTOS that talks to iOS and OS X, automotive control engineers (and others?) would be very interested I think.

 

All the best.

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post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

...'elsewhere here'... 

 

Lol, I'm here but I'm not (or am I here when I'm there?)!

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post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Originally Posted by mstone View Post
There is no command+z in automobile driving. While you are chit-chatting on the phone at 70mph if a catastrophic failure happens you will be alerted one nano second before you are at the point of no return.


Then the system is worthless and should never be in a shipping product. But existing systems are better than that.

Please inform me with links to verifiable research data. I'm aware of BMW and Mercedes auto braking systems but those are not auto driving systems

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post #22 of 23

Let me bring some perspective.

 

The grandaddy of Nav Data is Nokia L &C (formerly Navteq).  Their map is has the richest density on the market.  Everyone who has become a player has used this map in one form or another.  Yes, even Google. The new kids on the block are scrambling for a place in the market.  Why are they in such a frenzy?  The connected vehicle market.  This concept is here and it's growing fast.  Microsoft, Google, and Apple will all stake a claim.  Microsoft already has a foothold at Ford.  Google has the autonomous vehicle but they can't manufacture cars.  They are forwarding this concept because with their business model, you have to put advertising in front of the operator and passengers to generate revenue.  National transportation safety officials have stated publicly that the Google model will not be acceptable because of the distraction to the driver.  Thus, we see the Google cars that take it a step beyond the connected vehicle to the fully autonomous car.

 

So, where does Apple stand in this contest.  Apple Maps was the first sign that one of the next new blockbuster iProducts on the horizon was going to come in the form of your car's dashboard.  Safety officials are already praising the Siri Eyes Free.  Mini Cooper has an iPhone interface to the dash. Chevrolet just introduced Siri buttons on the steering wheels of several models.  Apple is going to be a major player in this realm.  They just need to get more depth in the data behind Apple Maps.  The reason Apple will catch up quickly is that their economic model doesn't need to generate revenue through adds.  If Apple wanted to make Maps a world class app, they could just cut a deal with Nokia L & C for data and that would give them the depth and density that would go toe to toe with Google.  

 

This is an exciting new market and Apple is well positioned to have an impact.  Only time will tell if they can create a dominate product for the connected vehicle market like the iPhone and iPad.

post #23 of 23
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
Please inform me with links to verifiable research data. I'm aware of BMW and Mercedes auto braking systems but those are not auto driving systems

 

What? Google. Have you not heard they've sort of built legal self-driving cars now? They're going around Nevada and California right now.

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