Apple's 'Project Titan' car faces manufacturing roadblocks, could necessitate partnership

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  • Reply 41 of 126
    gatorguy wrote: »
    I pretty much agree. With as much money as Apple has at its disposal they can disrupt nearly any industry they wish. If not for various and sundry legal restrictions they have enough power and money to pretty much run the world of tech, call all the shots. IMO they carry more clout than Exxon did in the 80's.

    If they want to build a car that will destroy the old-line manufacturers they probably can.

    Next up, personal luxury aircraft from Apple.
  • Reply 42 of 126
    gatorguy wrote: »
    You must be referring to John Krafcik? He's recently taken a new leadership position in the automotive field, but no longer employed with Hyundai. He made an interesting move.

    For those not in the know: http://jalopnik.com/ex-hyundai-usa-ceo-john-krafcik-to-lead-googles-driverl-1730495559
  • Reply 43 of 126
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

     

    Apple's margins on software are close to zero -- after all, they give it away. The company makes almost all of its money on hardware. So I have no clue what you're getting at.




    Apple Pay, the App and iTunes stores aren't hardware. You know I'm right, you just don't like the thought you won't be able to actually buy Apple's next big product.

  • Reply 44 of 126
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    Next up, personal luxury aircraft from Apple.



    That would be copying Honda :-)

  • Reply 45 of 126
    How about partnering with a car company that has a Chinese connection? Volvo maybe (Apple is already working maps in Sweden)? Apple is already heavily embedded in China manufacturing and knows the ropes. Chinese cars could benefit fromm Apple's cachet, and Apple could insist on quality. Win win.
  • Reply 46 of 126
    cnocbui wrote: »

    That would be copying Honda :-)

    Many car manufacturers also have connections to aircraft.
  • Reply 47 of 126

    I just wonder if Apple plans on selling cars, which would then require a traditional dealership network, sales force, mechanics, etc.  That all sounds rather inefficient compared to how Apple manages their stores today.  If they manufacture in the U.S., there'd always be the threat of the UAW union, but if they manufacture cars (for sale) coming out of China, there will be a lot of politicians criticizing them for doing so.  People not "owning" an Apple Car outright might make China-based manufacturing more palatable to politicians (maybe).

     

    I wonder if they're actually going after ride sharing services like Uber, letting people use the car more as a "service".  If the car would be truly autonomous, then it could drive itself from a central lot/charging center, pick you up, drop you off at your destination, then return to the central lot/charging center.  When it is time for regularly scheduled maintenance, the car could drive itself to the nearest service depot.  The service depots would then only need to be in larger cities, similar to how UPS, FedEx, etc. only fly into airports in big cities (not smaller, regional ones, typically), then use ground transportation to get to the mid-side and small cities and towns. 

  • Reply 48 of 126
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    Many car manufacturers also have connections to aircraft.



    Since the demise of Saab, I believe Honda would be the only car company that builds a plane from nose to tail.

  • Reply 49 of 126
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member

    Apple need to be talking to FIAT!

     

    I had a 1995 Fiat Tipo Sedicivalvole.  I believe the Tipo and some other models of the era were built in a completely robot automated factory that only employed three people to oversee things.

     

    image

  • Reply 50 of 126
    cnocbui wrote: »

    Since the demise of Saab, I believe Honda would be the only car company that builds a plane from nose to tail.

    You may be right about that. Perhaps I should've written: "Many car manufacturers have had connections to aircraft."
  • Reply 51 of 126
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,693member
    ronmg wrote: »
    Basic car startup assembly plant cost is (in your mind) an archaic number based on how existing car manufacturers do things. Totally inefficient in my opinion. If Apple does move this direction (still nothing confirmed by Apple) then they will totally change the way cars are built. AND, how does anyone know that Apple doesn't have something in prototype yet?

    I agree. Apple will probably build them on massive 3D printers in one fell swoop ... ;)
  • Reply 52 of 126
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,693member
    Next up, personal luxury aircraft from Apple.

    ... or a car that can fly too. :)
  • Reply 53 of 126
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

     

    Tesla will need to do something. Nothing they have in their cars is proprietary and none of their tech is new. Any car company could build a Model S in short order if they wanted. They're happy right now to let Tesla spend money getting consumers used to the idea of electric vehicles and when the market (and battery technology) is ripe they'll jump in. Tesla will have nothing to separate them from the rest, except for being the first. And Tesla doesn't have nearly as much experience in the other 75% of the vehicle (that's not the powertrain) as other manufacturers.


     

    Any company can build the Model S in short order if they wanted?  Tesla is killing the high end market for Audi and others.  They would build it if they could!  The Model S has been out for years now and yet no real player has anything out with even with HALF the range.  

     

    Tesla has:

    Software (nearly as good as Apple in the auto category)

    Upcoming Gigafactory (Tesla will have much lower costs than other companies)

    Supercharger network (It has taken years to build and would take anyone else just as long with permits etc)

    Safety (if the other automakers are so good at the other 75% of the car, why can't they beat Tesla on safety?)

    Direct to customer model (higher profits, higher satisfaction)

  • Reply 54 of 126
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RonMG View Post

     

     

    Basic car startup assembly plant cost is (in your mind) an archaic number based on how existing car manufacturers do things. Totally inefficient in my opinion. If Apple does move this direction (still nothing confirmed by Apple) then they will totally change the way cars are built. AND, how does anyone know that Apple doesn't have something in prototype yet?


     

    I don't know much about car manufacturing costs, so I'm curious – what are the major inefficiencies which might be avoided?

  • Reply 55 of 126
    iArea 52™
  • Reply 56 of 126
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,238member

    I'm looking forward to the first major automobile manufacturer to build a production EV with Wheel Hub Motors. There were rumors at one time that Toyota would build a Prius with Wheel Hub Motors in the rear that would be used as required for added traction. The only issue with them is that them have high unsprung weight; a detriment to ride quality and handling. Coreless motor designs might mitigate some of the weight, and regenerative braking might reduce the weight of the brake system.

  • Reply 57 of 126
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 1,065member
    here's hoping apple has complete oversight over the design. the i3 looks like a pos.
  • Reply 58 of 126
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,652member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    Hubba-hubba!



    http://www.autoblog.com/2015/09/14/porsche-mission-e-concept-tesla-model-s-competitor/



    The thing that still hurts with electrics is the range and the charging time. A person in a rush won't want to spend 15 minutes recharging.



    Until charging time gets down to about 3 minutes (the time it takes to pump a tankful of gas), electrics will never be a dominant factor in large cities where most people live in apartment buildings, like NYC.    Sure, the .1% who live in town-houses can put a charger in, but co-ops and condos like the one I live in are never going to put chargers into their garages where they'd probably need one for every three cars at minimum.    And even if they did, the cost of electricity here (34 to 37 cents per KW/hr, fully loaded) would make it far more expensive than gasoline, especially at today's low gas prices, although that can certainly change again as it's done in the past.

     

    The other factor is that we tend to think of electric cars as the solution to environmental problems.   I consider myself to be an environmentalist, but until we have self-charging or solar electric cars, all we're doing is pushing the pollution from our individual car to the power plant.   Most power plants (except for hydro and nuclear) still use fossil fuels to generate electricity and they would have to generate far more electricity if electric cars became mainstream.

     

    In NYC, I have NEVER seen a Tesla outside of a showroom, even with all the super-rich people that live here.  

     

    If Apple is going to partner with a traditional car maker, I really don't see what Apple brings to the table, aside from a nice UI on the media system, which they license to other car manufacturers anyway.   And the margins in a car that people can actually afford are very small.   Most of the profit for dealers is in accessories and financing.   The base profit at the dealer level is frequently less than the margin on a Mac.   Apple hasn't yet produced an iPhone with a battery that lasts much more than a day, but they think they can manufacture electric car batteries within five years?    Talk about a reality distortion field. 

     

    But I'll give Apple this:  if they did produce a reasonably priced future tech car that didn't turn out to be a disaster, there would be lines at their car dealerships.  People would go nuts for such a car.   

  • Reply 59 of 126
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member

    Is Apple really ready to enter the auto industry?  The auto industry is a lot more regulated than computer retail or music where Apple likes to make up its own rules and change them any time they feel like it.  Among other things, being a car manufacturer would mean offering much longer warranty periods and dealing with the NTSB and other regulatory agencies.

  • Reply 60 of 126
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member
    1983 wrote: »
    I've just seen the future of the premium electric automobile, and it's called the Porsche Mission E electric saloon! Makes the Tesla S look like a has been and BMW's i3 runabout archaic! Apple have got a battle on their hands when it comes to this industry. I hope they're up to it. Oh and this new Porsche or something very similar to it, is expected to go into production before 2020!

    Thank goodness Tesla will be standing still for the next 5 years, so this concept car might be able to compete.
    Have they started building out a worldwide network of 800 volt charging stations to achieve that charging speed, or are they going to wait a few years?
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