Apple's mystery vans are so popular, people are making fake ones

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2015
While Apple's radar- and camera-equipped minivans are being spotted with increasing frequency around the U.S., a new sighting this week in Germany served up an interesting twist: a Dodge Caravan that looks like one of Apple's vehicles, except it's a fake.


The fake van.


AppleInsider reader Thomas snapped a photo of the Apple homage in Hanover, the German city where the annual CeBIT technology trade show was held last week. The German Dodge sports the same style of X-shaped roof rack as Apple's, but all of the sensors appear to be mockups.

Solid metal tubes take the place of the Velodyne HDL-32 LiDAR units found on Apple's vans, while what appear to be plastic grommets serve as "cameras" in each corner. The Apple vans' high-sensitivity GPS antennas are replaced by PVC saucers on square metal tubing.


A real van. Click for larger.


On the vehicle's left rear door, we find a convenient label identifying the van as an "autonomous test vehicle." Many have speculated that Apple's vans are designed for that purpose, though most agree they are in fact meant for a new digital mapping program.

It remains unclear why the owner of this particular van felt it necessary to ape Apple's vehicles. Given the clear and likely incorrect labeling, it seems that the unit could be meant as a prank, or perhaps designed to simulate Apple's vehicles in a video.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25

    Taking a leaf from Samsung and Google's playbook?

  • Reply 2 of 25
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    Who the **** would do that and why? I guess if I had some advertisement on the vehicle I could see how that might attract business, but I personally lure business via a rouse. So what is their motivation?
  • Reply 3 of 25

    How do you know that it isn't version 2.1 of the apparatus, which would inherently be more compact and less obtrusive, and wouldn't necessarily need all the signal strength provided by the larger antennas of the eariler version.

  • Reply 4 of 25
    Even though its fake it'll be far more popular than Apple's fake watch.
  • Reply 5 of 25
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    solipsismy wrote: »
    Who the **** would do that and why? I guess if I had some advertisement on the vehicle I could see how that might attract business, but I personally lure business via a rouse. So what is their motivation?

    Men have 2 primary motivations, money and honey. If it's not one it's the other.
  • Reply 6 of 25
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,414member
    The guy is probable going to do screwy things on the road in hopes that Apple gets blamed for it. Great theory but, in Germany they do not take too kindly to screwing around on their roads.
  • Reply 7 of 25
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    On the vehicle's left rear door, we find a convenient label identifying the van as an "autonomous test vehicle." 

    I'm surprised AI hasn't reported on the latest self driving car.

     

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/driverless-car-begin-cross-country-trip-sunday/story?id=29807224

     

    This car looks nice with all the sensors/cameras cleanly installed flush within the original body design.

     

  • Reply 8 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    I'm surprised AI hasn't reported on the latest self driving car.

     

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/driverless-car-begin-cross-country-trip-sunday/story?id=29807224

     

    This car looks nice with all the sensors/cameras cleanly installed flush within the original body design.

     


     

    Has AI reported on ANY self-driving cars, aside from the rumors about Apple's? 

  • Reply 9 of 25
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,382member

    Come on people.  Isn't it obvious by now?  It's a Samsung Van.

  • Reply 10 of 25

    The Dodge brand hasn't been active in Europe since ~2011. Since then, this minivan is only sold as the Lancia Voyager and has the Chrysler grille and taillights. Somebody went to special lengths to match the model without realizing that a real company would lease an new, indigenous model.

  • Reply 11 of 25
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,364member
    I think this is awesome. Some guy or gal wanted to have some fun. It's a conversation starter, and even made the news. That's gotta count for something. :)
  • Reply 12 of 25
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BobJohnson View Post

     

    Has AI reported on ANY self-driving cars, aside from the rumors about Apple's? 


    I believe they have on a few occasions regarding Google and certainly mentioned within several articles regarding efforts by traditional car manufacturers. Nevertheless it is a very popular discussion topic among the forum members so in relation to Apple's rumored entry into that space, an article on this Delphi vehicle certainly wouldn't be off topic, especially since this appears to be the most advanced self driving car we've seen yet.

  • Reply 13 of 25
    desuserigndesuserign Posts: 1,316member
    coolfactor wrote: »
    I think this is awesome. Some guy or gal wanted to have some fun. It's a conversation starter, and even made the news. That's gotta count for something. :)
    Exactly.
    The way people react you'd think they've never been young or had any fun.
    No wonder the AI forums are less fun and interesting than they used to be.
    Live a little, people!
  • Reply 14 of 25
    OK here's what really happened. This is the prototype for the real Apple vans. It was just a mockup to explain how it would look and work. The guy bought it off Apple at an auction. ????
  • Reply 15 of 25
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,911member
    And this article validates the search for attention.
  • Reply 16 of 25
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    desuserign wrote: »
    Exactly.
    The way people react you'd think they've never been young or had any fun.
    No wonder the AI forums are less fun and interesting than the used to be.
    Live a little, people!

    I see your point, but i can say I had fun in my youth and at the same time never would have considered that fun.
  • Reply 17 of 25
    desuserigndesuserign Posts: 1,316member
    konqerror wrote: »
    The Dodge brand hasn't been active in Europe since ~2011. Since then, this minivan is only sold as the Lancia Voyager and has the Chrysler grille and taillights. Somebody went to special lengths to match the model without realizing that a real company would lease an new, indigenous model.
    No. They're just trying to make people think that Apple has had their American vans teleported to Europe.
    New rumor: Apple working teleportation!
  • Reply 18 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BobJohnson View Post

     

     

    Has AI reported on ANY self-driving cars, aside from the rumors about Apple's? 




    Yes. Google's venture and also Tesla's auto pilot mode.

  • Reply 19 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    Men have 2 primary motivations, money and honey. If it's not one it's the other.

    Well typically cant have one without the other...lol.

  • Reply 20 of 25
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    Well typically cant have one without the other...lol.

    Sure you can. Men have come up with ingenious methods to get honey sans money.
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