'Apple Car' project to choose new direction in late 2017 - report

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 84
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,782member
    spice-boy said:
    Self driving cars to me an solution to a problem that does not need one. I know a lot of people die in car accidents each year but unless all standard cars are replaced with self operational cars people will still get into crashes for various reasons.

    Today being the first day of rain in a couple years here in LA, I can tell you from my experience commuting today that there are some real idiots behind the wheel. Self driving cars would be a huge improvement for these boneheads but they are precisely the type of people who will not be able to afford one. "Look at me, I'm a stunt driver. I can text and drive in the rain at double the posted speed limit."
    edited October 2016 cali
  • Reply 42 of 84
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 588member
    xixo said:

    "a cellphone without buttons!?!? are they nuts? they'll sell maybe three!" - many former tech CEOs of formerly relevant corporations



    No one ever said that.... There were loads of full-screen cellphones in existence then. Apple' iPhone was not revolutionary when it first came out (although arguably some of the Apple Apps were better than the competition). The revolutionary thing was the App Store. That's what did it.
  • Reply 43 of 84
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,437member

    maestro64 said:
    spice-boy said:
    Self driving cars to me an solution to a problem that does not need one. I know a lot of people die in car accidents each year but unless all standard cars are replaced with self operational cars people will still get into crashes for various reasons. I am sure these vehicles will be very expensive and out of reach to most Americans, this whole effort smells like a Silicon Valley billionaire wet dream more than a Ford Model T solution. I suppose Apple is spending a lot of money and energy in how to make cars safer but ultimately software and hardware failures still exists in products no matter how advance they are. Who hasn't had an iPhone or other smart phone "crash" or fail completely? 


    Can not agree more, it is a solution for the few not the many.  Who wants a hand me down self driving car which you may not be capable of working on. Without going to a dealer and paying top $ for US worker who need to live in Million $ homes to work on your car. I personally work on my cars and I know the cost to go to the dealer to fix things. I work on cars because it is something I enjoy, but most people I know do not and as soon as they see that first expensive repair they want to get rid of the car and buy a new one. Even cars are becoming throw away items but most people can not afford to keep buying new.

    The biggest issue for self driving cars is, other human drivers on the road, and weather these cars work great until they have to deal with anything but sunny weather conditions.

    Most Americans do not work on their own cars.   That's not the issue for most.   The issue is that the typical macho American aggressive driver (of any gender) will not be satisfied with a self-driving car that won't go over the speed limit and won't drive aggressively.    And once some of these cars are on the road and inevitably get involved in accidents, even if it's a lower rate of accidents than traditional cars, once someone is killed, politicians are going to jump all over this and get them banned from certain localities because it's an easy and emotional issue.   

    The other question is whether the sharing economy really takes hold outside of hipsters.   If it does (and I'm not claiming it will), fewer people will be owning their own cars in any case. 
    cali
  • Reply 44 of 84
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,782member
    zoetmb said:

    ... And once some of these cars are on the road and inevitably get involved in accidents, even if it's a lower rate of accidents than traditional cars, once someone is killed, politicians are going to jump all over this and get them banned from certain localities because it's an easy and emotional issue.   

    The other question is whether the sharing economy really takes hold outside of hipsters.   If it does (and I'm not claiming it will), fewer people will be owning their own cars in any case. 
    There is a lot of discussion in legal circles regarding provisions of special indemnity to manufacturers of autonomous vehicles for the reason that the technology cannot be developed without it. One serious accident and injury attorneys will sue the pants off the manufacturer, essentially putting them out of business. Politicians want self driving cars because they are safer and would create jobs in high tech.

    On your other point, ride sharing, it is dangerous in a city like LA. Getting into a car with a stranger or standing on a street corner waiting for a ride in some areas or at night can get you killed, raped or both.
    palomine
  • Reply 45 of 84
    sog35 said:
    Personally I always thought building a car was a stupid idea.

    Risks are massive.
    Margins are slim.

    Just look at the 'success' story of Tesla who is losing $30k on every car they sell. There isn't much profit to make in the industry.

    Apple should just concentrate on making CarPlay much better. Or team up with a specific car company or several and build a better CarOS.

    Right now CarPlay is not even close to perfect. 



    Reading this latest Bloomberg article, this is what I sense Apple is shifting towards doing - building a CarPlay on steroids.

    "Apple Inc. has drastically scaled back its automotive ambitions, leading to hundreds of job cuts and a new direction that, for now, no longer includes building its own car, according to people familiar with the project."

    "New leadership of the initiative, known internally as Project Titan, has re-focused on developing an autonomous driving system that gives Apple flexibility to either partner with existing carmakers, or return to designing its own vehicle in the future, the people also said. "
    CarPlay on steriods for who? Automakers don't need Apple.  Consumers aren't going to buy cars that only support iPhone. And do you really think Apple is going to build carOS to seamlessly integrate with Android devices?
  • Reply 46 of 84
    zoetmb said:
    lkrupp said:
    Blathering speculation. Rumors of changes to a rumored plan, rumored to be behind schedule. No facts, no confirmation, no evidence, no nothing, just rumors from “sources.” This is either just pure fantasy invented by tech bloggers with too much time on their hands or leaked propaganda from Apple to direct away from their real objective. Either way it’s baloney. But baloney sells doesn’t it. I had a baloney sandwich yesterday.

    And what’s with the dumbass conceptual picture of Apple’s rumored vehicle? More fantasy dreamed up by some wannabe graphic artist?
    Baloney?  So all those people didn't get laid-off or left?   That was pretty specific information.

    I never personally thought Apple would pull off a car for all the obvious reasons:  very large capital investment, not core competency, supplier issues, high labor cost, low margins except perhaps at the luxury end of the market, different state and country regulations, and high liability costs if a car has a "bug", especially a self-driving car.  

    I still maintain (although almost no one agrees with me) that 20 years from now, Apple will be an A.I. and robotics company.   
    What experience does Apple have in AI and robotics? IMO the part of Apple that is lacking is not hardware, it's software. 
  • Reply 47 of 84
    fmalloyfmalloy Posts: 105member
    The key point here is about the automotive supply chain. Apple is used to bullying and pushing around parts suppliers - as well as the music industry - to get the control they want at the cheapest prices. Too bad it's not working on the movie industry or on the automotive industry. That's why AppleTV isn't going anywhere, and same for cars. They know Tesla is delivering (even if not financially) and they don't want to get in the game unless they can take over. They don't play well unless they're far in the lead. Boo hoo - Apple is going to have to play by the rules for once and not act like the spoiled 800lb gorilla they're used to being.
  • Reply 48 of 84
    Neil Cybart has an interesting theory. If Apple doesn't can this project perhaps the focus should be a fleet of ride sharing vehicles.


    edited October 2016
  • Reply 49 of 84
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,509member
    volcan said:
    spice-boy said:
    Self driving cars to me an solution to a problem that does not need one. I know a lot of people die in car accidents each year but unless all standard cars are replaced with self operational cars people will still get into crashes for various reasons.

    Today being the first day of rain in a couple years here in LA, I can tell you from my experience commuting today that there are some real idiots behind the wheel. Self driving cars would be a huge improvement for these boneheads but they are precisely the type of people who will not be able to afford one. "Look at me, I'm a stunt driver. I can text and drive in the rain at double the posted speed limit."
    Exactly. The problem on both the freeways and the city streets in So Cal are psychological. It may be true everywhere (but Canada?).

    But I see a population of lightweight, nimble, economical but heavily crash-resistant — carbon fiber, etc. — in the cities as an instant hit, like touchscreen phones, that will make the Steve Balmer aggressive types just cool out and find some other outlet for their personality problems.
    palomine
  • Reply 50 of 84
    h2ph2p Posts: 264member
    sog35 said:
    Personally I always thought building a car was a stupid idea.

    Risks are massive.
    Margins are slim.

    Just look at the 'success' story of Tesla who is losing $30k on every car they sell. There isn't much profit to make in the industry...

    And yet, Tesla just sold more Model S cars than BMW and Mercedes combined in the same segment.  Tesla is doing just fine. 
    To sog35's point... if Tesla is losing money on every unit -- then they are making an "Amazon.com-like" bet on the long run. I assume Musk has done the math and decided they can pump enough $ in losses to establish the brand. Then they will be a premium car brand with an electric twist. So, not so stupid if you look at that perspective.

    Apple, on the other hand, is a consumer electronics company. A car would be an add-on to the brand... not the Brand Itself (Tesla). I judge that Apple Will have the tougher time of it if they choose to manufacture a stand alone car. Again, IMHO, there are Way Too Many variables to auto manfanufacturing / dealerships, mechanics, part, etc. etc.

    How about if we delve deeper into the possibility of a BMW (insert premium car brand) / Apple Car. Apple keeps their brand intact with the premium car manufacturer getting a X year exclusive on the tech in an "Apple car." After X number of years, Apple can offer the tech to other manufacturers. Something like what was done with iPhone/AT&T. The main danger in this is that the other companies do a quick copy like Samsung and your tech is not that attractive in X years. This may have been discussed elsewhere... but what do you think?

    xixomonstrosity
  • Reply 51 of 84
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,509member
    zoetmb said:
    lkrupp said:
    Blathering speculation. Rumors of changes to a rumored plan, rumored to be behind schedule. No facts, no confirmation, no evidence, no nothing, just rumors from “sources.” This is either just pure fantasy invented by tech bloggers with too much time on their hands or leaked propaganda from Apple to direct away from their real objective. Either way it’s baloney. But baloney sells doesn’t it. I had a baloney sandwich yesterday.

    And what’s with the dumbass conceptual picture of Apple’s rumored vehicle? More fantasy dreamed up by some wannabe graphic artist?
    Baloney?  So all those people didn't get laid-off or left?   That was pretty specific information.

    I never personally thought Apple would pull off a car for all the obvious reasons:  very large capital investment, not core competency, supplier issues, high labor cost, low margins except perhaps at the luxury end of the market, different state and country regulations, and high liability costs if a car has a "bug", especially a self-driving car.  

    I still maintain (although almost no one agrees with me) that 20 years from now, Apple will be an A.I. and robotics company.   
    What experience does Apple have in AI and robotics? IMO the part of Apple that is lacking is not hardware, it's software. 
    Yeah, like Apple doesn't have experience in the software/hardware integration business (like Google doesn't), or Apple hasn't been buying up machine-sensing and AI companies right and left, or like they haven't been pursuing AR. 

    I can't resist — just because you refuse to have an open mind and evolve actively, doesn't mean that Apple remains dug in to the staus quo like you. You are projecting, if you're not just looking for another topic to be negative about.
    fastasleepcalimonstrositynolamacguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 52 of 84
    xixoxixo Posts: 421member
    zoetmb said:

    I never personally thought Apple would pull off a car for all the obvious reasons:  very large capital investment, not core competency, supplier issues, high labor cost, low margins except perhaps at the luxury end of the market, different state and country regulations, and high liability costs if a car has a "bug", especially a self-driving car.  

    I still maintain (although almost no one agrees with me) that 20 years from now, Apple will be an A.I. and robotics company.   
    this from the end of the well written Bloomberg Article:
    Apple meanwhile struggled to tackle complex automotive supply chains, according to another person familiar with the situation. In smartphones, Apple wields extensive influence and often secures exclusive rights to certain parts from suppliers. For cars, the heavy investment required to make automotive parts means suppliers are less willing to commit their products to a vehicle like Apple’s which may have initially shipped in small quantities.

    "When they started digging into the details of what that would entail it likely became an intractable problem," the Center for Automotive Research’s Dennis said.

     As in 1984, Apple's direction is far ahead its time. Tesla and Apple are evolving manufacturing ahead of all other industries. As manufacturing evolves, the intractable problems of today will fade.

    The only question is, will it ultimately be Apple or another disruptor who leverages that evolution?


  • Reply 53 of 84
    flaneur said:
    zoetmb said:
    lkrupp said:
    Blathering speculation. Rumors of changes to a rumored plan, rumored to be behind schedule. No facts, no confirmation, no evidence, no nothing, just rumors from “sources.” This is either just pure fantasy invented by tech bloggers with too much time on their hands or leaked propaganda from Apple to direct away from their real objective. Either way it’s baloney. But baloney sells doesn’t it. I had a baloney sandwich yesterday.

    And what’s with the dumbass conceptual picture of Apple’s rumored vehicle? More fantasy dreamed up by some wannabe graphic artist?
    Baloney?  So all those people didn't get laid-off or left?   That was pretty specific information.

    I never personally thought Apple would pull off a car for all the obvious reasons:  very large capital investment, not core competency, supplier issues, high labor cost, low margins except perhaps at the luxury end of the market, different state and country regulations, and high liability costs if a car has a "bug", especially a self-driving car.  

    I still maintain (although almost no one agrees with me) that 20 years from now, Apple will be an A.I. and robotics company.   
    What experience does Apple have in AI and robotics? IMO the part of Apple that is lacking is not hardware, it's software. 
    Yeah, like Apple doesn't have experience in the software/hardware integration business (like Google doesn't), or Apple hasn't been buying up machine-sensing and AI companies right and left, or like they haven't been pursuing AR. 

    I can't resist — just because you refuse to have an open mind and evolve actively, doesn't mean that Apple remains dug in to the staus quo like you. You are projecting, if you're not just looking for another topic to be negative about.
    Not saying Apple can't evolve. But others are far ahead in this space. And Apple's magic is integrating hardware, software and services.  Not being the Android of cars.
    entropys
  • Reply 54 of 84
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,828member
    flaneur said:
    zoetmb said:
    lkrupp said:
    Blathering speculation. Rumors of changes to a rumored plan, rumored to be behind schedule. No facts, no confirmation, no evidence, no nothing, just rumors from “sources.” This is either just pure fantasy invented by tech bloggers with too much time on their hands or leaked propaganda from Apple to direct away from their real objective. Either way it’s baloney. But baloney sells doesn’t it. I had a baloney sandwich yesterday.

    And what’s with the dumbass conceptual picture of Apple’s rumored vehicle? More fantasy dreamed up by some wannabe graphic artist?
    Baloney?  So all those people didn't get laid-off or left?   That was pretty specific information.

    I never personally thought Apple would pull off a car for all the obvious reasons:  very large capital investment, not core competency, supplier issues, high labor cost, low margins except perhaps at the luxury end of the market, different state and country regulations, and high liability costs if a car has a "bug", especially a self-driving car.  

    I still maintain (although almost no one agrees with me) that 20 years from now, Apple will be an A.I. and robotics company.   
    What experience does Apple have in AI and robotics? IMO the part of Apple that is lacking is not hardware, it's software. 
    Yeah, like Apple doesn't have experience in the software/hardware integration business (like Google doesn't), or Apple hasn't been buying up machine-sensing and AI companies right and left, or like they haven't been pursuing AR. 

    I can't resist — just because you refuse to have an open mind and evolve actively, doesn't mean that Apple remains dug in to the staus quo like you. You are projecting, if you're not just looking for another topic to be negative about.
    Not saying Apple can't evolve. But others are far ahead in this space. And Apple's magic is integrating hardware, software and services.  Not being the Android of cars.
    Who is far ahead in this space? What proof do you have that they're any further than Apple is? What evidence do you have that makes you think Apple isn't very far with this project? We don't even know what Apple is specifically working on here. We're just assuming. 

    Even if Apple is behind in this space. This wouldn't be the first time Apple was late to a party. It doesn't matter who is first, it matters who does it better than everyone else, even if it takes a little longer to release. 
    edited October 2016 fastasleepcalimonstrositynolamacguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 55 of 84
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,527member
    I would expect that Apple would have a pretty big goal of "impact" on the car industry, in order to justify their entry (they would not be happy with progress like Tesla's over the years, taking a decade to get to 50K units/year).  They wouldn't just want to make a "better" electric car, but one which would be different in at least one, if not more, dimensions.  
    - Based on new manufacturing process (e.g. carbon fibre, ala BMW i3) which allows different economics / models / customization
    - Rethinking what a "car" is for.  Its jobs to be done, how it is designed, how it is used.  The seats, the layout, flexible spaces...
    - Autonomous driving
    - Vastly improved User Experience (based on potentially all of above).  Pace of change in the industry is glacial.  There are many compromises in the car driving experience based simply on the modern assembly line process, costs, suppliers, incumbent fear of change, etc.  A fresh approach could really shake things up (beyond the Tesla impact to electric drivetrain).

    Quite possible that in reviewing the marketplace, it was clear they could not make that impact (yet...or maybe ever)...or not in enough dimensions.  Lots of change on the horizon, and it is a big market, so Apple will want to either do it "right" (from their perspective), or not at all.

    fastasleepmonstrosity
  • Reply 56 of 84
    maestro64 said:
    spice-boy said:
    Self driving cars to me an solution to a problem that does not need one. I know a lot of people die in car accidents each year but unless all standard cars are replaced with self operational cars people will still get into crashes for various reasons. I am sure these vehicles will be very expensive and out of reach to most Americans, this whole effort smells like a Silicon Valley billionaire wet dream more than a Ford Model T solution. I suppose Apple is spending a lot of money and energy in how to make cars safer but ultimately software and hardware failures still exists in products no matter how advance they are. Who hasn't had an iPhone or other smart phone "crash" or fail completely? 


    Can not agree more, it is a solution for the few not the many.  Who wants a hand me down self driving car which you may not be capable of working on. Without going to a dealer and paying top $ for US worker who need to live in Million $ homes to work on your car. I personally work on my cars and I know the cost to go to the dealer to fix things. I work on cars because it is something I enjoy, but most people I know do not and as soon as they see that first expensive repair they want to get rid of the car and buy a new one. Even cars are becoming throw away items but most people can not afford to keep buying new.

    The biggest issue for self driving cars is, other human drivers on the road, and weather these cars work great until they have to deal with anything but sunny weather conditions.

    We will not own cars anymore. You order one to bring you from A to B. The city will own cars, or, more likely, Mercedes will still own their own cars and will provide them to the public. You can chose what car you want to ride, if it has leather, if you sit in it alone or with others etc. And you order the car with your iPhone. Wouldn't it be great not to have to own a car anymore!
    monstrosity
  • Reply 57 of 84
    The idea that Apple is designing software for self-driving cars sounds pretty interesting except that when it comes to cars, Apple doesn't seem to know where it's going.
  • Reply 58 of 84
    All theories are "correct" until they're not... lacking evidence Bloomberg could insist Apple is currently run by Moon Men.
    calinolamacguy
  • Reply 59 of 84
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,647member
    I am suspicious of these articles. Seem like misdirection. There is a large lack of capability for car construction in evidence. Not even a sign of any capability being built. I think Apple was never going to build an actual car. Where is the equivalant to say, Tesla factories of five years ago? Nowhere. I think all Titan could be a better CarPlay with extensive AR. Cook as good as said so.
    edited October 2016
  • Reply 60 of 84
    entropys said:
    I am suspicious of these articles. Seem like misdirection. There is a large lack of capability for car construction in evidence. Not even a sign of any capability being built. I think Apple was never going to build an actual car. Where is the equivalant to say, Tesla factories of five years ago? Nowhere. I think all Titan could be a better CarPlay with extensive AR. Cook as good as said so.
    Apple hired people with experience in car chassis and suspension. Cook a BMW manufacturing plant. The guy running the project left and then Cook re-assigned it to Bob Mansfield because it apparently was lacking direction. Not one Apple blogger or tech reporter that might have inside informarion has disputed these stories or claimed they were just misdirection. It's entirely possible Mansfield scaled back the project when he came in and saw it was lacking focus.
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