As mysterious minivan sightings proliferate, rumored 'Apple Car' seen as $50B US opportunity

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  • Reply 61 of 105
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,939member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    When I moved to NYC shortly after graduating from college, one of my coworkers was showing me around. She also gave me some driving tips.

     

    1) When the light turns green rev it up and floor it, even patch out in second gear for a dramatic effect, otherwise the pedestrians will not stop crossing the street on the other side of the intersection.

     

    2) Never make eye contact with other drivers, because if they know you see them, they will not let you switch lanes. You have to pretend you don't see them in your blind spot. Just change lanes without signaling and make them hit the brakes. If they honk then turn on your signal as an apology. It is the pretend you are clueless technique.




    You know a computer can react faster than a human driver, right?

     

    The Google self-driving auto program managers have all noted a few people exhibiting similar boorish behavior, like pulling in front of the self-driving car then slamming on the brakes.

     

    The Google cars are very capable of recognizing clueless pedestrians with their faces buried in their cellphones, or lawless cyclists riding against traffic, blowing through stop signs, blissfully ignorant of anything around them since they're listening to music with earphones.

     

    Stuff like that.

  • Reply 62 of 105
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by orthorim View Post

     

     

    < Except Google's self driving cars pretty much work .... ;) >


     

    Can we qualify that statement ... they work on closed courses, where everything is assiduously mapped. And only a very, very, very small area has been mapped like that. On the open roads where you might see them in Mountain View and environs, there is always a human driver of course ... driving. It might function as a kind of advanced cruise control right now, but that's about it. Come to think of it, that's where a lot of this tech might end up, in a highway cruise control system on designated highways where only eased exits and onramps are the rule. 

  • Reply 63 of 105
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

     

    You know a computer can react faster than a human driver, right?

     


    My point is that purely defensive driving does not always work out. If the other drivers know the driverless car will not switch lanes until the coast is completely clear, no one will let them in and it will be stuck at a standstill with its blinker flashing while a continuous flow of selfish drivers drive by in bumper to bumper city traffic. I recently flew into LAX at rush hour. On the way home, my "professional" driver crossed over the double yellow lines couple times, drove on the shoulder and forced their way into the lanes of traffic from the on ramp. I just can't see a driverless car being able to demand their right of way in that situation.

  • Reply 64 of 105
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

     



    You know a computer can react faster than a human driver, right?

     

    The Google self-driving auto program managers have all noted a few people exhibiting similar boorish behavior, like pulling in front of the self-driving car then slamming on the brakes.

     

    The Google cars are very capable of recognizing clueless pedestrians with their faces buried in their cellphones, or lawless cyclists riding against traffic, blowing through stop signs, blissfully ignorant of anything around them since they're listening to music with earphones.

     

    Stuff like that.


     

    Humans can hit hundreds of pedestrians in just a couple of months... meh... a self driving car hits one pedestrian in 2 years... boom!!! ... the media will react the same way they do when Apple sells 10 less iPads than was expected.

  • Reply 65 of 105
    mstone wrote: »
    One huge challenge for driverless cars is coping with the largely lawless unpredictable human drivers on the road. If all vehicles were driverless it would work pretty well, but since driverless cars would have to obey the law, they wouldn't even be able to get out of the driveway during rush hour.

    Personally, I think it will eventually make so much financial sense to have a "hands free" car that everyone will want one. Imagine no longer having to pay for accident insurance. Imagine not having to even apply for a driver license! The DMV should disappear tomorrow ideally, however if cars are still bought and sold states will still keep records.
  • Reply 66 of 105
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post



    With fossil fuels so cheap now, this couldn't be a worse time for developing an electric car.

    I disagree. Fossil fuels will not remain inexpensive for long--this is a bubble. This is exactly the right time to develop an electric car, because it takes a while to bring such a product to market. And (1) if and when petrol rises in price, Apple may be ready to sell an electric car, and may be seen as forward-thinking; (2) electric propulsion is a good idea not because of the immediate price of oil, but because of the long-term impact of pumping pollution and CO2 into the atmosphere. The need for transportation will not go away, but the supply of oil will, as will a breathable atmosphere, and probably the climate we are accustomed to.  Perhaps Tim Cook's trips to China have left him suffering respiratory illness (or observing it in others) as a result of the phenomenal pollution there, and caused him to consider the overall total value of clean energy automobiles.

  • Reply 67 of 105
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

     
     

    Personally, I think it will eventually make so much financial sense to have a "hands free" car that everyone will want one. 

    Car ownership and driving is not purely a financial decision. Many times it is an emotional decision. Personally, I really enjoy driving my ridiculously expensive BMW and I get a new one every three years. I just traded in my last one and it had only 10,000 miles on it. Absolutely idiotic from a financial perspective.

  • Reply 68 of 105
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post



    With fossil fuels so cheap now, this couldn't be a worse time for developing an electric car.

     

    Electric would make a lot more sense for a driverless fleet vehicle, as they can refuel themselves much more safely than a gasoline-powered robot.

     

    The other thing is that an electric driverless fleet has little to do with saving money through cut fuel costs, and much more to do with saving us time. On top of being able to work/play while the car does the driving, there's also the fact that you'll rarely have to walk through a parking lot/garage. All curb-side service, all the time.

     

    I think at this point, the more interesting questions are around this being a product vs. a service.

  • Reply 69 of 105
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    Car ownership and driving is not purely a financial decision. Many times it is an emotional decision. Personally, I really enjoy driving my ridiculously expensive BMW and I get a new one every three years. I just traded in my last one and it had only 10,000 miles on it. Absolutely idiotic from a financial perspective.


     

    For you they'll have the gold edition.

  • Reply 70 of 105
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,523member
    jungmark wrote: »
    Doubtful. People would pay a couple hundred more for a phone. They won't pay thousands or tens of thousands more for a car.
    Considering all these brands sell a lot more than one model, it's a fantasy to say Apple will get 10% of the market.

    My point was Apple could make a larger profit margins through new manufacturing methods and end up making 90% of the profits from 10 to 20% of the sales in 5-10 years..
  • Reply 71 of 105
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post





    My point was Apple could make a larger profit margins through new manufacturing methods and end up making 90% of the profits from 10 to 20% of the sales in 5-10 years..

     5 - 10 years?

     

    Try 15 - 20 years and 5% of the market with 10% of the profits.

  • Reply 72 of 105
    xixoxixo Posts: 431member
    Humans can hit hundreds of pedestrians in just a couple of months... meh... a self driving car hits one pedestrian in 2 years... boom!!!

    I do ok now with napping on straightaways during long journeys.

    With the AppleCar I could nap, text, drink, vape and have a lap dance, all while sharing the experience on FaceTime.
  • Reply 73 of 105
    My point was Apple could make a larger profit margins through new manufacturing methods and end up making 90% of the profits from 10 to 20% of the sales in 5-10 years..

    I feel like it would be cheaper and easier for Apple to simply do what others have done and buy into the business, then use their skills, efficiency, and future-forward focus to start working their way down with R&D ideas from within, like how an Indian company owns Land Rover.

    They could make revenue and profits out of the gate and then start introducing their tech into these cars at various levels for various customers.
  • Reply 74 of 105
    Quote:



    Originally Posted by xixo View Post





    I do ok now with napping on straightaways during long journeys.



    With the AppleCar I could nap, text, drink, vape and have a lap dance, all while sharing the experience on FaceTime.

     

    I seem to recall doing that at least once while driving through Nebraska in the 70s....  :p

  • Reply 75 of 105
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

     
    For you they'll have the gold edition.


    Ha Ha. 

     

    Just guessing, I figure we pay about $3 per mile for each of our luxury brand cars by the time you add in all the costs, trade-in value, etc. That is for our USA cars. In Central America we have more normal Toyota vehicles, mostly because they have local dealers. One of the more important factors for me is safety. That is why I like big heavy duty automobiles even if they are less energy efficient. All these new electric cars look like they would be crushed if they collided with a larger vehicle. There was an accident that made headlines in California last year where a family in a BMW was hit by a semi truck and the car was really mangled hanging off the side of a bridge but everyone survived. One rescue worker commented that it was a really strong car which was the only thing that saved them.

  • Reply 76 of 105
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by battiato1981 View Post

     

     

    Can we qualify that statement ... they work on closed courses, where everything is assiduously mapped. And only a very, very, very small area has been mapped like that. On the open roads where you might see them in Mountain View and environs, there is always a human driver of course ... driving. It might function as a kind of advanced cruise control right now, but that's about it. Come to think of it, that's where a lot of this tech might end up, in a highway cruise control system on designated highways where only eased exits and onramps are the rule. 




    I expect that any Apple car would be aimed at the 80% or so of Americans that live in an urban area, so mappable, then the cars get ride shared (declining numbers of people want to own cars especially among younger people) and given the distances are manageable electric makes sense.

     

    Driver assistance wouldn't require nearly the reported effort and it being fielded already by multiple manufacturers it would be a LONG tail chase for Apple...

  • Reply 77 of 105
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

     

     

    Using a quote from Steve Ballmer does not enhance your argument.




    Ballmer argued that the iPhone would never get more than 3% market share. The quote I responded to basically said the same statement for Apple made cars hence the Ballmer reference. History has proven that Apple has the ability to disrupt any market they choose to enter. Saying they would not have an impact by entering into the auto industry is ignorant.

  • Reply 78 of 105
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GadgetCanadaV2 View Post

     



    Ballmer argued that the iPhone would never get more than 3% market share. The quote I responded to basically said the same statement for Apple made cars hence the Ballmer reference. History has proven that Apple has the ability to disrupt any market they choose to enter. Saying they would not have an impact by entering into the auto industry is ignorant.


     

    They might have an impact but I sincerely doubt that Apple would have the same impact on the automobile trade as they would in the tech gadgets trade.

     

    My point was that Ballmer was a clown who couldn't predict shit. Same with those two silly asses at RIM. It doesn't mean to say that everyone is an idiot. There are people out there who thought Apple would do quite well with phones and iPads. Even Apple dropped the ball initially by overpricing the first iPhone.

  • Reply 79 of 105
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,939member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    My point is that purely defensive driving does not always work out. If the other drivers know the driverless car will not switch lanes until the coast is completely clear, no one will let them in and it will be stuck at a standstill with its blinker flashing while a continuous flow of selfish drivers drive by in bumper to bumper city traffic. I recently flew into LAX at rush hour. On the way home, my "professional" driver crossed over the double yellow lines couple times, drove on the shoulder and forced their way into the lanes of traffic from the on ramp. I just can't see a driverless car being able to demand their right of way in that situation.




    At this point, it looks like the cars must have a licensed driver anyhow to override the system if necessary. You'd just switch to manual, then proceed to break California vehicle code. If you get pulled over by the CHP, you can't blame the car manufacturer, as there would be some way for the officer to tell that you had deliberately switched to manual control.

     

    Remember, the individual states have all started doing work to add provisions in the vehicle code to cover self-driving cars: liability, physical requirements, licensed operators, etc. 

     

    It's not like the first self-driving car will a vacant cab ready to pick up a passenger who sips on Champagne in the back seat reading the Wall Street Journal with the silent Jeeves the computer navigator at the helm.

     

    All I'm saying is that these vehicles are already on the road and they will end up in consumers' hands in the not too distant future, and yes, I bet they will be road tested in some of the nastiest situations that North America can offer (including L.A. freeways, Manhattan traffic, San Francisco parking, etc.).

     

    It's not a matter of "if," but simply "when."

  • Reply 80 of 105
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    Ha Ha. 

     

    Just guessing, I figure we pay about $3 per mile for each of our luxury brand cars by the time you add in all the costs, trade-in value, etc. That is for our USA cars. In Central America we have more normal Toyota vehicles, mostly because they have local dealers. One of the more important factors for me is safety. That is why I like big heavy duty automobiles even if they are less energy efficient. All these new electric cars look like they would be crushed if they collided with a larger vehicle. There was an accident that made headlines in California last year where a family in a BMW was hit by a semi truck and the car was really mangled hanging off the side of a bridge but everyone survived. One rescue worker commented that it was a really strong car which was the only thing that saved them.


     

    Yeah, there's no overcoming the fact that a high-quality car with a bit more size to it will provide better occupant acceleration characteristics in a crash, even against a much larger vehicle like a semi. That said, there's no reason that all electric self-driving cars have to be small. There could be tiers for such things as well. Another option is for the cars to physically link up in some manner, so everyone would gain some crumple zone, as well as some visibility benefits.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GadgetCanadaV2 View Post

     

    History has proven that Apple has the ability to disrupt any market they choose to enter.


     

    That reminds me. When is NBA 2K15 coming out for the Pippin? Queue the Apple gamer satirical ad ;)

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