Intel, Toyota & others create 'big data' consortium for self-driving cars

Posted:
in General Discussion
Several major tech and automotive companies -- including Intel, Toyota, and Ericsson -- on Thursday announced a consortium that will build a "big data" ecosystem for use with self-driving cars, as well as related technologies like driver assist and mapping using real-time data.




Other partners in the Automotive Edge Computing Consortium (AECC) include Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo, and auto parts maker Denso, according to Toyota. The automaker said that data traffic between vehicles and cloud servers is predicted to hit 10 exabytes per month by 2025, creating the need for "new architectures of network and computing infrastructure" to handle it.

The group will also "define requirements and develop use cases for emerging mobile devices with a particular focus on the automotive industry, bringing them to standards bodies, industry consortiums and solution providers."

On Wednesday Intel revealed plans to put over 100 self-driving vehicles on roads, which could conceivably rely on cloud infrastructure launched by the new consortium.

The AECC announcement highlights a potential obstacle for Apple's self-driving car plans. While the company is currently only testing a platform on a handful of existing vehicles, a commercial launch -- whether through a self-designed car, or in partnership with others -- could require vast amounts of high-bandwidth infrastructure on top of its modern data centers. It's unlikely to turn to third parties however, given its policies towards data security.

Apple might be able to reduce cloud demands with local processing and machine learning, something CEO Tim Cook hinted at in a recent interview.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    And while they're at it, tell Toyota to add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to they're cars was well!
    cornchipyojimbo007watto_cobraGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 2 of 21
    Just another example of how automakers don’t need Apple to be able to build autonomous and self driving vehicles. If Apple really wants to play in this space they’re going to need to build their own vehicle, and maybe it’s not something sold directly to consumers. Maybe Apple becomes its own ride sharing service.
    cornchip
  • Reply 3 of 21
    Just another example of how automakers don’t need Apple to be able to build autonomous and self driving vehicles. If Apple really wants to play in this space they’re going to need to build their own vehicle, and maybe it’s not something sold directly to consumers. Maybe Apple becomes its own ride sharing service.
    The idea of the ride sharing service just screams Apple to me. By the time this happens, Apple could have committed lines of production and control the lifespan of these vehicles; essentially they could then provide a transportation experience that only Apple can provide.

    Question - Couldn't Apple just join this consortium? I don't think this would affect them negatively, if this were the case.
  • Reply 4 of 21
    tshapitshapi Posts: 288member
     AECC announcement highlights a potential obstacle for Apple's self-driving car plans. While the company is currently only testing a platform on a handful of existing vehicles, a commercial launch -- whether through a self-designed car, or in partnership with others -- could require vast amounts of high-bandwidth infrastructure on top of its modern data centers. It's unlikely to turn to third parties however, given its policies towards data security.

    Apple might be able to reduce cloud demands with local processing and machine learning, something CEO Tim Cook hinted at in a recent interview.
    Rumor does have it that Apple just got permission to test the next gen 5g cellular tech. 
    edited August 2017
  • Reply 5 of 21
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,926moderator
    Just another example of how automakers don’t need Apple to be able to build autonomous and self driving vehicles. If Apple really wants to play in this space they’re going to need to build their own vehicle, and maybe it’s not something sold directly to consumers. Maybe Apple becomes its own ride sharing service.
    The idea of the ride sharing service just screams Apple to me. By the time this happens, Apple could have committed lines of production and control the lifespan of these vehicles; essentially they could then provide a transportation experience that only Apple can provide.

    Question - Couldn't Apple just join this consortium? I don't think this would affect them negatively, if this were the case.
    As I've been saying all along, autonomous vehicles might not be the next big thing.  

    The car of the future is already here.  It's called a Smartphone.  Think about it.  If you were to clear the slate, look at the modern world and ask yourself, how would I design a transportation system given existing and soon-to-come technologies, like autonomous driving, real-time availability scheduling. Route optimization, etc, no way you'd conclude there should be a car, or two, in every garage.  You'd create a technology/software infrastructure to allow individuals to call up the transportation they need (car, truck, van, etc) on-demand.  And it would show up wherever they are, or wherever they are going to be, when it's needed.  You'd be able to schedule transportation in advance, like the airport shuttles of yesteryear that you'd schedule a week in advance. Über pretty much killed that business, I expect.  


    Or schedule recurring transportation, such as to take the kids to soccer practice and back.  In this case the transportation technology system might suggest a shared van service, that knows the schedules for local after school sports practice and offers up and constructs pick-up and drop-off routes based upon participation; a regular route to gather up the kids and deliver them.  Accommodation for security will be considered when children are being transported without accompanying parents, such as real-time tracking and a constant open line of communication, both audio and video streaming from the vehicle to parent's smartphones. 


    The specific vehicle that arrives can be determined by number of passengers, whether you'll be transporting something large or just yourself, etc.  The notion of owning, maintaining, accommodating parking requirements of, insuring, etc, a personal vehicle, for many people, has already begun to feel like 'the old paridigm.'  


    To create this infrastructure, you need route optimization software, that incorporates the real-time whereabouts of all vehicles in a local fleet. You need scheduling software.  You need to deal with remaining charge/range of each vehicle out in service to know when a vehicle can accommodate an additional requested or scheduled route without running out of juice.  You need to accommodate stand-by, where the vehicle drops someone off at a location and is requested to stand-by for an indeterminate time while the person goes into a store or bank to run an errand.  In short, you need a very sophisticated set of interacting technologies to accommodate smooth operation of a transportation network that provides near immediate responsiveness to a population's constantly fluctuating needs.


    If I were Tim Cook, this is exactly the way I'd envision the future, and this is what I'd set out to create.  It's not so much about constructing vehicles yourself, but about getting sign-in from all vehicle manufacturers such that their vehicles can work within the envisioned transportation network.  And that means that people who do own vehicles could lend them into their local autonomous transportation fleet in order to earn money (this has already been suggested by Musk and makes sense for a maker of vehicles to accommodate, as it helps him sell more Teslas direct to consumers).  It means that new rental fleets will simply be staged in large metro areas, with one or more depots that the vehicles come back to for recharging, maintenance, cleaning, etc.  And that means that there's a path forward for the rental companies, because they already have staging areas for their existing fleets.  The big picture can be accommodated during a transition phase from the world we have today to a world where almost all transportation is shared and autonomous.  


    Extend this to trucking, inter-city bussing, etc, and the whole thing becomes a future that Apple could play a major role in developing.  Without ever producing, on their own, a single vehicle.


    Also key to this is that everything Apple needs to do to revolutionize transportation does not require Apple to do any work on autonomous driving, nor does Apple need to build a single vehicle model.  Nope, Apple will want to own the end user interaction used to summon and schedule transportation, and it'll want to own the route optimization algorithms and server side scheduling and dispatch.  And take a cut of every ride.  


    There will need to be some tech in each car to pick up the user interaction that began on a rider's smartphone or Watch, once the car arrives to pick up the rider.  The car will need a voice interface to interact with the rider.  The car will need to constantly ping its whereabouts to the dispatch and scheduling servers, along with its charge level, so that the dispatch system can determine its next pick up and determine when it needs to exit the active fleet and return to a nearby depot for recharging or maintenance.  The car will need to contain sensors, like internal cameras, to monitor for left-behind packages, spilled coffee, etc, and report appropriately to riders or to dispatch.  The car will need streaming audio/video capabilities to stream to parents when children are riding without adult accompaniment.  All of this can be designed as a set of interfaces that automakers can implement in order to be compatible with Apple's dispatch and routing servers, and the vehicles might also be required to utilize Apple's mapping infrastructure.  


    Once verified as able to serve a ride request, the car is handed details on the location of the rider, and the rider's destination, and it can then utilize its own autonomous driving capabilities to serve the request.  And all of this can integrate both driverless and human driven vehicles into the same service.  So as vehicles are developed that are licensed for autonomous operation, these can be added to an existing Uber-like fleet of human driven vehicles, both serving together to form a centrally requested and directed/dispatched swarm serving a metrolitan area.  Eventually, the human driven vehicles would all be replaced with autonomous vehicles, and the future will have arrived.  

    vanfruniken
  • Reply 6 of 21
    Just another example of how automakers don’t need Apple to be able to build autonomous and self driving vehicles. If Apple really wants to play in this space they’re going to need to build their own vehicle, and maybe it’s not something sold directly to consumers. Maybe Apple becomes its own ride sharing service.


    Question - Couldn't Apple just join this consortium? I don't think this would affect them negatively, if this were the case.
    I think they must or they risk being left in the dust..
    The loner approach Apple had taken in the AI field has hurt them... now they are trying to mingle and makeup for some of the screwup.

    Data is everything.. then analytics and algorithms.
    Sorry to say this is where Google has Apple beat hands down.
    I hope Apple does whatever it can to catch up..it is crucial !
    They sure have the resources! 
  • Reply 7 of 21
    @radarthekat:
    Well said. But given all these thoughts, it is apparent, again and again how complacent the carmakers and transportation companies have been by evolving way too slowly (trying to be "good enough" or slightly better than before).
    Some of these ideas have been realizable for a while, even without the advanced and large scale technology that is coming at us today.
  • Reply 8 of 21
    nhtnht Posts: 4,374member
    Just another example of how automakers don’t need Apple to be able to build autonomous and self driving vehicles. If Apple really wants to play in this space they’re going to need to build their own vehicle, and maybe it’s not something sold directly to consumers. Maybe Apple becomes its own ride sharing service.
    The idea of the ride sharing service just screams Apple to me. By the time this happens, Apple could have committed lines of production and control the lifespan of these vehicles; essentially they could then provide a transportation experience that only Apple can provide.

    Question - Couldn't Apple just join this consortium? I don't think this would affect them negatively, if this were the case.
    As I've been saying all along, autonomous vehicles might not be the next big thing.  

    The car of the future is already here.  It's called a Smartphone.  Think about it.  If you were to clear the slate, look at the modern world and ask yourself, how would I design a transportation system given existing and soon-to-come technologies, like autonomous driving, real-time availability scheduling. Route optimization, etc, no way you'd conclude there should be a car, or two, in every garage.  You'd create a technology/software infrastructure to allow individuals to call up the transportation they need (car, truck, van, etc) on-demand.  And it would show up wherever they are, or wherever they are going to be, when it's needed.  You'd be able to schedule transportation in advance, like the airport shuttles of yesteryear that you'd schedule a week in advance. Über pretty much killed that business, I expect.  


    Or schedule recurring transportation, such as to take the kids to soccer practice and back.  In this case the transportation technology system might suggest a shared van service, that knows the schedules for local after school sports practice and offers up and constructs pick-up and drop-off routes based upon participation; a regular route to gather up the kids and deliver them.  Accommodation for security will be considered when children are being transported without accompanying parents, such as real-time tracking and a constant open line of communication, both audio and video streaming from the vehicle to parent's smartphones. 


    The specific vehicle that arrives can be determined by number of passengers, whether you'll be transporting something large or just yourself, etc.  The notion of owning, maintaining, accommodating parking requirements of, insuring, etc, a personal vehicle, for many people, has already begun to feel like 'the old paridigm.'  


    To create this infrastructure, you need route optimization software, that incorporates the real-time whereabouts of all vehicles in a local fleet. You need scheduling software.  You need to deal with remaining charge/range of each vehicle out in service to know when a vehicle can accommodate an additional requested or scheduled route without running out of juice.  You need to accommodate stand-by, where the vehicle drops someone off at a location and is requested to stand-by for an indeterminate time while the person goes into a store or bank to run an errand.  In short, you need a very sophisticated set of interacting technologies to accommodate smooth operation of a transportation network that provides near immediate responsiveness to a population's constantly fluctuating needs.


    If I were Tim Cook, this is exactly the way I'd envision the future, and this is what I'd set out to create.  It's not so much about constructing vehicles yourself, but about getting sign-in from all vehicle manufacturers such that their vehicles can work within the envisioned transportation network.  And that means that people who do own vehicles could lend them into their local autonomous transportation fleet in order to earn money (this has already been suggested by Musk and makes sense for a maker of vehicles to accommodate, as it helps him sell more Teslas direct to consumers).  It means that new rental fleets will simply be staged in large metro areas, with one or more depots that the vehicles come back to for recharging, maintenance, cleaning, etc.  And that means that there's a path forward for the rental companies, because they already have staging areas for their existing fleets.  The big picture can be accommodated during a transition phase from the world we have today to a world where almost all transportation is shared and autonomous.  


    Extend this to trucking, inter-city bussing, etc, and the whole thing becomes a future that Apple could play a major role in developing.  Without ever producing, on their own, a single vehicle.


    Also key to this is that everything Apple needs to do to revolutionize transportation does not require Apple to do any work on autonomous driving, nor does Apple need to build a single vehicle model.  Nope, Apple will want to own the end user interaction used to summon and schedule transportation, and it'll want to own the route optimization algorithms and server side scheduling and dispatch.  And take a cut of every ride.  


    There will need to be some tech in each car to pick up the user interaction that began on a rider's smartphone or Watch, once the car arrives to pick up the rider.  The car will need a voice interface to interact with the rider.  The car will need to constantly ping its whereabouts to the dispatch and scheduling servers, along with its charge level, so that the dispatch system can determine its next pick up and determine when it needs to exit the active fleet and return to a nearby depot for recharging or maintenance.  The car will need to contain sensors, like internal cameras, to monitor for left-behind packages, spilled coffee, etc, and report appropriately to riders or to dispatch.  The car will need streaming audio/video capabilities to stream to parents when children are riding without adult accompaniment.  All of this can be designed as a set of interfaces that automakers can implement in order to be compatible with Apple's dispatch and routing servers, and the vehicles might also be required to utilize Apple's mapping infrastructure.  


    Once verified as able to serve a ride request, the car is handed details on the location of the rider, and the rider's destination, and it can then utilize its own autonomous driving capabilities to serve the request.  And all of this can integrate both driverless and human driven vehicles into the same service.  So as vehicles are developed that are licensed for autonomous operation, these can be added to an existing Uber-like fleet of human driven vehicles, both serving together to form a centrally requested and directed/dispatched swarm serving a metrolitan area.  Eventually, the human driven vehicles would all be replaced with autonomous vehicles, and the future will have arrived.  

    You've essentially described uber and lyft
    gatorguy
  • Reply 9 of 21
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,562member
    Just another example of how automakers don’t need Apple to be able to build autonomous and self driving vehicles. If Apple really wants to play in this space they’re going to need to build their own vehicle, and maybe it’s not something sold directly to consumers. Maybe Apple becomes its own ride sharing service.
    The idea of the ride sharing service just screams Apple to me. By the time this happens, Apple could have committed lines of production and control the lifespan of these vehicles; essentially they could then provide a transportation experience that only Apple can provide.

    Question - Couldn't Apple just join this consortium? I don't think this would affect them negatively, if this were the case.
    As I've been saying all along, autonomous vehicles might not be the next big thing.  

    The car of the future is already here.  It's called a Smartphone.  Think about it.  If you were to clear the slate, look at the modern world and ask yourself, how would I design a transportation system given existing and soon-to-come technologies, like autonomous driving, real-time availability scheduling. Route optimization, etc, no way you'd conclude there should be a car, or two, in every garage.  You'd create a technology/software infrastructure to allow individuals to call up the transportation they need (car, truck, van, etc) on-demand.  And it would show up wherever they are, or wherever they are going to be, when it's needed.  You'd be able to schedule transportation in advance, like the airport shuttles of yesteryear that you'd schedule a week in advance. Über pretty much killed that business, I expect.  


    Or schedule recurring transportation, such as to take the kids to soccer practice and back.  In this case the transportation technology system might suggest a shared van service, that knows the schedules for local after school sports practice and offers up and constructs pick-up and drop-off routes based upon participation; a regular route to gather up the kids and deliver them.  Accommodation for security will be considered when children are being transported without accompanying parents, such as real-time tracking and a constant open line of communication, both audio and video streaming from the vehicle to parent's smartphones. 


    The specific vehicle that arrives can be determined by number of passengers, whether you'll be transporting something large or just yourself, etc.  The notion of owning, maintaining, accommodating parking requirements of, insuring, etc, a personal vehicle, for many people, has already begun to feel like 'the old paridigm.'  


    To create this infrastructure, you need route optimization software, that incorporates the real-time whereabouts of all vehicles in a local fleet. You need scheduling software.  You need to deal with remaining charge/range of each vehicle out in service to know when a vehicle can accommodate an additional requested or scheduled route without running out of juice.  You need to accommodate stand-by, where the vehicle drops someone off at a location and is requested to stand-by for an indeterminate time while the person goes into a store or bank to run an errand.  In short, you need a very sophisticated set of interacting technologies to accommodate smooth operation of a transportation network that provides near immediate responsiveness to a population's constantly fluctuating needs.


    If I were Tim Cook, this is exactly the way I'd envision the future, and this is what I'd set out to create.  It's not so much about constructing vehicles yourself, but about getting sign-in from all vehicle manufacturers such that their vehicles can work within the envisioned transportation network.  And that means that people who do own vehicles could lend them into their local autonomous transportation fleet in order to earn money (this has already been suggested by Musk and makes sense for a maker of vehicles to accommodate, as it helps him sell more Teslas direct to consumers).  It means that new rental fleets will simply be staged in large metro areas, with one or more depots that the vehicles come back to for recharging, maintenance, cleaning, etc.  And that means that there's a path forward for the rental companies, because they already have staging areas for their existing fleets.  The big picture can be accommodated during a transition phase from the world we have today to a world where almost all transportation is shared and autonomous.  


    Extend this to trucking, inter-city bussing, etc, and the whole thing becomes a future that Apple could play a major role in developing.  Without ever producing, on their own, a single vehicle.


    Also key to this is that everything Apple needs to do to revolutionize transportation does not require Apple to do any work on autonomous driving, nor does Apple need to build a single vehicle model.  Nope, Apple will want to own the end user interaction used to summon and schedule transportation, and it'll want to own the route optimization algorithms and server side scheduling and dispatch.  And take a cut of every ride.  


    There will need to be some tech in each car to pick up the user interaction that began on a rider's smartphone or Watch, once the car arrives to pick up the rider.  The car will need a voice interface to interact with the rider.  The car will need to constantly ping its whereabouts to the dispatch and scheduling servers, along with its charge level, so that the dispatch system can determine its next pick up and determine when it needs to exit the active fleet and return to a nearby depot for recharging or maintenance.  The car will need to contain sensors, like internal cameras, to monitor for left-behind packages, spilled coffee, etc, and report appropriately to riders or to dispatch.  The car will need streaming audio/video capabilities to stream to parents when children are riding without adult accompaniment.  All of this can be designed as a set of interfaces that automakers can implement in order to be compatible with Apple's dispatch and routing servers, and the vehicles might also be required to utilize Apple's mapping infrastructure.  


    Once verified as able to serve a ride request, the car is handed details on the location of the rider, and the rider's destination, and it can then utilize its own autonomous driving capabilities to serve the request.  And all of this can integrate both driverless and human driven vehicles into the same service.  So as vehicles are developed that are licensed for autonomous operation, these can be added to an existing Uber-like fleet of human driven vehicles, both serving together to form a centrally requested and directed/dispatched swarm serving a metrolitan area.  Eventually, the human driven vehicles would all be replaced with autonomous vehicles, and the future will have arrived.  

    While that is most certainly the tech of the future, I don't think it will be the ONLY tech of the future for two sociological reasons (rather than technical):
    1)  Prestige:  People love "their" cars -- it's why people pay 2 - 5 times more for a BMW or Mercedes.   They need the prestige factor.
    2) Independence:  The standard suburbanite treasures the independence of being able to jump into "his" car whenever he wants to go wherever he wants.  Today, even many husbands and wives can't even share a car -- because they both want their own and their own independence.

    However, what it might do is replace some of the second and third cars that families now own because there would be less of an actual need.  
  • Reply 10 of 21
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,926moderator
    Just another example of how automakers don’t need Apple to be able to build autonomous and self driving vehicles. If Apple really wants to play in this space they’re going to need to build their own vehicle, and maybe it’s not something sold directly to consumers. Maybe Apple becomes its own ride sharing service.


    Question - Couldn't Apple just join this consortium? I don't think this would affect them negatively, if this were the case.
    I think they must or they risk being left in the dust..
    The loner approach Apple had taken in the AI field has hurt them... now they are trying to mingle and makeup for some of the screwup.

    Data is everything.. then analytics and algorithms.
    Sorry to say this is where Google has Apple beat hands down.
    I hope Apple does whatever it can to catch up..it is crucial !
    They sure have the resources! 
    Alphabet, via Google, make 99% of its revenue from Google advertising.   That's not a number I picked from the air to mean 'the vast majority of', it's the actual percentage of Alphabet's revenue generated by its Google subdivision.  So apart from bragging rights on besting the human Go! champion, it's hard to see how Alphabet/Google has beat Apple in this realm.  It doesn't produce profits until it ships and Google isn't shipping much more than more effectively convincing people who would rather see zero advertisements to click on the ones they do see.  Not a terribly noble accomplishment, in my opinion.  
    StrangeDayswilliamlondonGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 11 of 21
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,926moderator

    @radarthekat:
    Well said. But given all these thoughts, it is apparent, again and again how complacent the carmakers and transportation companies have been by evolving way too slowly (trying to be "good enough" or slightly better than before).
    Some of these ideas have been realizable for a while, even without the advanced and large scale technology that is coming at us today.
    I think some of this is a function of Moore's law.  What could be done a couple processor generations ago is becoming more and more feasible and economical which each turn of Moore's law.  A few more turns, about six years (three more doubling) and we'll see some pretty cool stuff become ubiquitous.  Medical monitoring capabilities, autonomous systems, data gathering via swarms of autonomous devices, who knows?  I think Apple looks hard at this aspect and puts a pin in its roadmap indicating it's best estimate of when all the technologies will be sufficiently mature to effectively and afficiently create a new product or service.  
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 12 of 21
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,926moderator

    nht said:
    Just another example of how automakers don’t need Apple to be able to build autonomous and self driving vehicles. If Apple really wants to play in this space they’re going to need to build their own vehicle, and maybe it’s not something sold directly to consumers. Maybe Apple becomes its own ride sharing service.
    The idea of the ride sharing service just screams Apple to me. By the time this happens, Apple could have committed lines of production and control the lifespan of these vehicles; essentially they could then provide a transportation experience that only Apple can provide.

    Question - Couldn't Apple just join this consortium? I don't think this would affect them negatively, if this were the case.
    As I've been saying all along, autonomous vehicles might not be the next big thing.  

    The car of the future is already here.  It's called a Smartphone.  Think about it.  If you were to clear the slate, look at the modern world and ask yourself, how would I design a transportation system given existing and soon-to-come technologies, like autonomous driving, real-time availability scheduling. Route optimization, etc, no way you'd conclude there should be a car, or two, in every garage.  You'd create a technology/software infrastructure to allow individuals to call up the transportation they need (car, truck, van, etc) on-demand.  And it would show up wherever they are, or wherever they are going to be, when it's needed.  You'd be able to schedule transportation in advance, like the airport shuttles of yesteryear that you'd schedule a week in advance. Über pretty much killed that business, I expect.  


    Or schedule recurring transportation, such as to take the kids to soccer practice and back.  In this case the transportation technology system might suggest a shared van service, that knows the schedules for local after school sports practice and offers up and constructs pick-up and drop-off routes based upon participation; a regular route to gather up the kids and deliver them.  Accommodation for security will be considered when children are being transported without accompanying parents, such as real-time tracking and a constant open line of communication, both audio and video streaming from the vehicle to parent's smartphones. 


    The specific vehicle that arrives can be determined by number of passengers, whether you'll be transporting something large or just yourself, etc.  The notion of owning, maintaining, accommodating parking requirements of, insuring, etc, a personal vehicle, for many people, has already begun to feel like 'the old paridigm.'  


    To create this infrastructure, you need route optimization software, that incorporates the real-time whereabouts of all vehicles in a local fleet. You need scheduling software.  You need to deal with remaining charge/range of each vehicle out in service to know when a vehicle can accommodate an additional requested or scheduled route without running out of juice.  You need to accommodate stand-by, where the vehicle drops someone off at a location and is requested to stand-by for an indeterminate time while the person goes into a store or bank to run an errand.  In short, you need a very sophisticated set of interacting technologies to accommodate smooth operation of a transportation network that provides near immediate responsiveness to a population's constantly fluctuating needs.


    If I were Tim Cook, this is exactly the way I'd envision the future, and this is what I'd set out to create.  It's not so much about constructing vehicles yourself, but about getting sign-in from all vehicle manufacturers such that their vehicles can work within the envisioned transportation network.  And that means that people who do own vehicles could lend them into their local autonomous transportation fleet in order to earn money (this has already been suggested by Musk and makes sense for a maker of vehicles to accommodate, as it helps him sell more Teslas direct to consumers).  It means that new rental fleets will simply be staged in large metro areas, with one or more depots that the vehicles come back to for recharging, maintenance, cleaning, etc.  And that means that there's a path forward for the rental companies, because they already have staging areas for their existing fleets.  The big picture can be accommodated during a transition phase from the world we have today to a world where almost all transportation is shared and autonomous.  


    Extend this to trucking, inter-city bussing, etc, and the whole thing becomes a future that Apple could play a major role in developing.  Without ever producing, on their own, a single vehicle.


    Also key to this is that everything Apple needs to do to revolutionize transportation does not require Apple to do any work on autonomous driving, nor does Apple need to build a single vehicle model.  Nope, Apple will want to own the end user interaction used to summon and schedule transportation, and it'll want to own the route optimization algorithms and server side scheduling and dispatch.  And take a cut of every ride.  


    There will need to be some tech in each car to pick up the user interaction that began on a rider's smartphone or Watch, once the car arrives to pick up the rider.  The car will need a voice interface to interact with the rider.  The car will need to constantly ping its whereabouts to the dispatch and scheduling servers, along with its charge level, so that the dispatch system can determine its next pick up and determine when it needs to exit the active fleet and return to a nearby depot for recharging or maintenance.  The car will need to contain sensors, like internal cameras, to monitor for left-behind packages, spilled coffee, etc, and report appropriately to riders or to dispatch.  The car will need streaming audio/video capabilities to stream to parents when children are riding without adult accompaniment.  All of this can be designed as a set of interfaces that automakers can implement in order to be compatible with Apple's dispatch and routing servers, and the vehicles might also be required to utilize Apple's mapping infrastructure.  


    Once verified as able to serve a ride request, the car is handed details on the location of the rider, and the rider's destination, and it can then utilize its own autonomous driving capabilities to serve the request.  And all of this can integrate both driverless and human driven vehicles into the same service.  So as vehicles are developed that are licensed for autonomous operation, these can be added to an existing Uber-like fleet of human driven vehicles, both serving together to form a centrally requested and directed/dispatched swarm serving a metrolitan area.  Eventually, the human driven vehicles would all be replaced with autonomous vehicles, and the future will have arrived.  

    You've essentially described uber and lyft

    Neither of those deal with several aspects of a fleet of autonomous vehicles, such as monitoring remaining charge per vehicle to return a vehicle to a depot, cleanliness and operating condition of an autonomous vehicle, scheduling rides in advance, combining multiple fleets, such as from competing rental car agencies, into a single efficiently managed fleet, handling requests for different vehicle types, such as a car, van, truck, etc, route optimization across an entire fleet with varying remaining charge levels and varying distances to each vehicle's available service/charging depots, sharing of depots and charging centers across competing fleets and assiciatedaccounting. Uber and Lyft are very rudimentary versions of a true ride-sharing society, relying upon the individual drivers to deal with maintenance, fueling, cleaning, routing, uptime, downtime, etc. all this needs to be rethink once the fleets ae autonomous. And it's a very big challenge. Thus, a tech player like Apple with a penchant for designing systems that yield excellent user experiences, and happens already to have a billion plus pieces of hardware out n the field through which users could interact with such a service.
  • Reply 13 of 21

    nht said:
    Just another example of how automakers don’t need Apple to be able to build autonomous and self driving vehicles. If Apple really wants to play in this space they’re going to need to build their own vehicle, and maybe it’s not something sold directly to consumers. Maybe Apple becomes its own ride sharing service.
    The idea of the ride sharing service just screams Apple to me. By the time this happens, Apple could have committed lines of production and control the lifespan of these vehicles; essentially they could then provide a transportation experience that only Apple can provide.

    Question - Couldn't Apple just join this consortium? I don't think this would affect them negatively, if this were the case.
    As I've been saying all along, autonomous vehicles might not be the next big thing.  

    The car of the future is already here.  It's called a Smartphone.  Think about it.  If you were to clear the slate, look at the modern world and ask yourself, how would I design a transportation system given existing and soon-to-come technologies, like autonomous driving, real-time availability scheduling. Route optimization, etc, no way you'd conclude there should be a car, or two, in every garage.  You'd create a technology/software infrastructure to allow individuals to call up the transportation they need (car, truck, van, etc) on-demand.  And it would show up wherever they are, or wherever they are going to be, when it's needed.  You'd be able to schedule transportation in advance, like the airport shuttles of yesteryear that you'd schedule a week in advance. Über pretty much killed that business, I expect.  


    Or schedule recurring transportation, such as to take the kids to soccer practice and back.  In this case the transportation technology system might suggest a shared van service, that knows the schedules for local after school sports practice and offers up and constructs pick-up and drop-off routes based upon participation; a regular route to gather up the kids and deliver them.  Accommodation for security will be considered when children are being transported without accompanying parents, such as real-time tracking and a constant open line of communication, both audio and video streaming from the vehicle to parent's smartphones. 


    The specific vehicle that arrives can be determined by number of passengers, whether you'll be transporting something large or just yourself, etc.  The notion of owning, maintaining, accommodating parking requirements of, insuring, etc, a personal vehicle, for many people, has already begun to feel like 'the old paridigm.'  


    To create this infrastructure, you need route optimization software, that incorporates the real-time whereabouts of all vehicles in a local fleet. You need scheduling software.  You need to deal with remaining charge/range of each vehicle out in service to know when a vehicle can accommodate an additional requested or scheduled route without running out of juice.  You need to accommodate stand-by, where the vehicle drops someone off at a location and is requested to stand-by for an indeterminate time while the person goes into a store or bank to run an errand.  In short, you need a very sophisticated set of interacting technologies to accommodate smooth operation of a transportation network that provides near immediate responsiveness to a population's constantly fluctuating needs.


    If I were Tim Cook, this is exactly the way I'd envision the future, and this is what I'd set out to create.  It's not so much about constructing vehicles yourself, but about getting sign-in from all vehicle manufacturers such that their vehicles can work within the envisioned transportation network.  And that means that people who do own vehicles could lend them into their local autonomous transportation fleet in order to earn money (this has already been suggested by Musk and makes sense for a maker of vehicles to accommodate, as it helps him sell more Teslas direct to consumers).  It means that new rental fleets will simply be staged in large metro areas, with one or more depots that the vehicles come back to for recharging, maintenance, cleaning, etc.  And that means that there's a path forward for the rental companies, because they already have staging areas for their existing fleets.  The big picture can be accommodated during a transition phase from the world we have today to a world where almost all transportation is shared and autonomous.  


    Extend this to trucking, inter-city bussing, etc, and the whole thing becomes a future that Apple could play a major role in developing.  Without ever producing, on their own, a single vehicle.


    Also key to this is that everything Apple needs to do to revolutionize transportation does not require Apple to do any work on autonomous driving, nor does Apple need to build a single vehicle model.  Nope, Apple will want to own the end user interaction used to summon and schedule transportation, and it'll want to own the route optimization algorithms and server side scheduling and dispatch.  And take a cut of every ride.  


    There will need to be some tech in each car to pick up the user interaction that began on a rider's smartphone or Watch, once the car arrives to pick up the rider.  The car will need a voice interface to interact with the rider.  The car will need to constantly ping its whereabouts to the dispatch and scheduling servers, along with its charge level, so that the dispatch system can determine its next pick up and determine when it needs to exit the active fleet and return to a nearby depot for recharging or maintenance.  The car will need to contain sensors, like internal cameras, to monitor for left-behind packages, spilled coffee, etc, and report appropriately to riders or to dispatch.  The car will need streaming audio/video capabilities to stream to parents when children are riding without adult accompaniment.  All of this can be designed as a set of interfaces that automakers can implement in order to be compatible with Apple's dispatch and routing servers, and the vehicles might also be required to utilize Apple's mapping infrastructure.  


    Once verified as able to serve a ride request, the car is handed details on the location of the rider, and the rider's destination, and it can then utilize its own autonomous driving capabilities to serve the request.  And all of this can integrate both driverless and human driven vehicles into the same service.  So as vehicles are developed that are licensed for autonomous operation, these can be added to an existing Uber-like fleet of human driven vehicles, both serving together to form a centrally requested and directed/dispatched swarm serving a metrolitan area.  Eventually, the human driven vehicles would all be replaced with autonomous vehicles, and the future will have arrived.  

    You've essentially described uber and lyft

    Neither of those deal with several aspects of a fleet of autonomous vehicles, such as monitoring remaining charge per vehicle to return a vehicle to a depot, cleanliness and operating condition of an autonomous vehicle, scheduling rides in advance, combining multiple fleets, such as from competing rental car agencies, into a single efficiently managed fleet, handling requests for different vehicle types, such as a car, van, truck, etc, route optimization across an entire fleet with varying remaining charge levels and varying distances to each vehicle's available service/charging depots, sharing of depots and charging centers across competing fleets and assiciatedaccounting. Uber and Lyft are very rudimentary versions of a true ride-sharing society, relying upon the individual drivers to deal with maintenance, fueling, cleaning, routing, uptime, downtime, etc. all this needs to be rethink once the fleets ae autonomous. And it's a very big challenge. Thus, a tech player like Apple with a penchant for designing systems that yield excellent user experiences, and happens already to have a billion plus pieces of hardware out n the field through which users could interact with such a service.


    There are few additional points you might want to consider:

    i) Cars are ONE of the transportation modes, NOT the ONLY transportation mode available to people. Buses, Trains, Bikes, Planes will continue to be available as choices for people

    ii) As already mentioned by @GeorgeBMac, there are genuine reasons which would prevent "autonomous" cars as the ONLY option even in countries where autonomous cars make sense. At best, it would co-exist with manually operated cars (electric or non-electric), apart from buses and bikes on the same roads

    iii) Only in US, Europe and other rich countries cars are one of the main transportation options. Not sure about china. But countries like India (where I live) and other not-so-rich countries, cars would NEVER be a main transportation option - due to lack of roads, population density, cost of vehicle (either manually operated or autonomous) etc

    iv) There will be about 50% to 60% of the world population which would rarely see (if at all they see) autonomous cars in their countries

    While autonomous cars will play an important role in transportation in future, I don't see it eliminating manually operated cars. It has to be designed to co-exist with bikes, buses AND manually operated cars and be damn good at it. It would be a long way out (at least 2 decades) for that to become one of the main transportation options in future in US/Europe, possibly China and few other counties. In rest of the world, autonomous cars would play a marginal role, if any.

    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 14 of 21
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,888member
    Meh -- sounds like a bunch of latecomers trying to get together. Toyota, Intel, and Ericsson are nowhere near the cutting edge of anything having to do with mobile or autonomy, sfaik. 

    I'm really curious to know who GM is partnering with. There will allegedly be autonomous Bolts on the streets of several cities next year accepting real life passengers for rides. Even if it doesn't happen according to plan, it's clear they have a plan and must be working with somebody in tech to make that happen. What will the AI hardware be in those Bolts? Who is doing the software? Is GM working with Google on software and data? With Nvidia on hardware? Or are they working with other players? They must be working with somebody... 
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 15 of 21
    nhtnht Posts: 4,374member

    nht said:
    Just another example of how automakers don’t need Apple to be able to build autonomous and self driving vehicles. If Apple really wants to play in this space they’re going to need to build their own vehicle, and maybe it’s not something sold directly to consumers. Maybe Apple becomes its own ride sharing service.
    The idea of the ride sharing service just screams Apple to me. By the time this happens, Apple could have committed lines of production and control the lifespan of these vehicles; essentially they could then provide a transportation experience that only Apple can provide.

    Question - Couldn't Apple just join this consortium? I don't think this would affect them negatively, if this were the case.
    As I've been saying all along, autonomous vehicles might not be the next big thing.  

    The car of the future is already here.  It's called a Smartphone.  Think about it.  If you were to clear the slate, look at the modern world and ask yourself, how would I design a transportation system given existing and soon-to-come technologies, like autonomous driving, real-time availability scheduling. Route optimization, etc, no way you'd conclude there should be a car, or two, in every garage.  You'd create a technology/software infrastructure to allow individuals to call up the transportation they need (car, truck, van, etc) on-demand.  And it would show up wherever they are, or wherever they are going to be, when it's needed.  You'd be able to schedule transportation in advance, like the airport shuttles of yesteryear that you'd schedule a week in advance. Über pretty much killed that business, I expect.  


    Or schedule recurring transportation, such as to take the kids to soccer practice and back.  In this case the transportation technology system might suggest a shared van service, that knows the schedules for local after school sports practice and offers up and constructs pick-up and drop-off routes based upon participation; a regular route to gather up the kids and deliver them.  Accommodation for security will be considered when children are being transported without accompanying parents, such as real-time tracking and a constant open line of communication, both audio and video streaming from the vehicle to parent's smartphones. 


    The specific vehicle that arrives can be determined by number of passengers, whether you'll be transporting something large or just yourself, etc.  The notion of owning, maintaining, accommodating parking requirements of, insuring, etc, a personal vehicle, for many people, has already begun to feel like 'the old paridigm.'  


    To create this infrastructure, you need route optimization software, that incorporates the real-time whereabouts of all vehicles in a local fleet. You need scheduling software.  You need to deal with remaining charge/range of each vehicle out in service to know when a vehicle can accommodate an additional requested or scheduled route without running out of juice.  You need to accommodate stand-by, where the vehicle drops someone off at a location and is requested to stand-by for an indeterminate time while the person goes into a store or bank to run an errand.  In short, you need a very sophisticated set of interacting technologies to accommodate smooth operation of a transportation network that provides near immediate responsiveness to a population's constantly fluctuating needs.


    If I were Tim Cook, this is exactly the way I'd envision the future, and this is what I'd set out to create.  It's not so much about constructing vehicles yourself, but about getting sign-in from all vehicle manufacturers such that their vehicles can work within the envisioned transportation network.  And that means that people who do own vehicles could lend them into their local autonomous transportation fleet in order to earn money (this has already been suggested by Musk and makes sense for a maker of vehicles to accommodate, as it helps him sell more Teslas direct to consumers).  It means that new rental fleets will simply be staged in large metro areas, with one or more depots that the vehicles come back to for recharging, maintenance, cleaning, etc.  And that means that there's a path forward for the rental companies, because they already have staging areas for their existing fleets.  The big picture can be accommodated during a transition phase from the world we have today to a world where almost all transportation is shared and autonomous.  


    Extend this to trucking, inter-city bussing, etc, and the whole thing becomes a future that Apple could play a major role in developing.  Without ever producing, on their own, a single vehicle.


    Also key to this is that everything Apple needs to do to revolutionize transportation does not require Apple to do any work on autonomous driving, nor does Apple need to build a single vehicle model.  Nope, Apple will want to own the end user interaction used to summon and schedule transportation, and it'll want to own the route optimization algorithms and server side scheduling and dispatch.  And take a cut of every ride.  


    There will need to be some tech in each car to pick up the user interaction that began on a rider's smartphone or Watch, once the car arrives to pick up the rider.  The car will need a voice interface to interact with the rider.  The car will need to constantly ping its whereabouts to the dispatch and scheduling servers, along with its charge level, so that the dispatch system can determine its next pick up and determine when it needs to exit the active fleet and return to a nearby depot for recharging or maintenance.  The car will need to contain sensors, like internal cameras, to monitor for left-behind packages, spilled coffee, etc, and report appropriately to riders or to dispatch.  The car will need streaming audio/video capabilities to stream to parents when children are riding without adult accompaniment.  All of this can be designed as a set of interfaces that automakers can implement in order to be compatible with Apple's dispatch and routing servers, and the vehicles might also be required to utilize Apple's mapping infrastructure.  


    Once verified as able to serve a ride request, the car is handed details on the location of the rider, and the rider's destination, and it can then utilize its own autonomous driving capabilities to serve the request.  And all of this can integrate both driverless and human driven vehicles into the same service.  So as vehicles are developed that are licensed for autonomous operation, these can be added to an existing Uber-like fleet of human driven vehicles, both serving together to form a centrally requested and directed/dispatched swarm serving a metrolitan area.  Eventually, the human driven vehicles would all be replaced with autonomous vehicles, and the future will have arrived.  

    You've essentially described uber and lyft

    Neither of those deal with several aspects of a fleet of autonomous vehicles, such as monitoring remaining charge per vehicle to return a vehicle to a depot, cleanliness and operating condition of an autonomous vehicle, scheduling rides in advance, combining multiple fleets, such as from competing rental car agencies, into a single efficiently managed fleet, handling requests for different vehicle types, such as a car, van, truck, etc, route optimization across an entire fleet with varying remaining charge levels and varying distances to each vehicle's available service/charging depots, sharing of depots and charging centers across competing fleets and assiciatedaccounting. Uber and Lyft are very rudimentary versions of a true ride-sharing society, relying upon the individual drivers to deal with maintenance, fueling, cleaning, routing, uptime, downtime, etc. all this needs to be rethink once the fleets ae autonomous. And it's a very big challenge. Thus, a tech player like Apple with a penchant for designing systems that yield excellent user experiences, and happens already to have a billion plus pieces of hardware out n the field through which users could interact with such a service.
    First, the expectation that there will be no humans in the loop is amusing.  The military has been driving toward crew reduction via automation forever and every time they go back to more crew because of maintenance and damage control.  In the case of Uber and Lyft there is also the aspect of luggage and as you noted cleaning.

    Second, fleet management software exists.  Managing charge levels and usage allocation is pretty much a solved problem.

    You underestimate the amount of effort Left and Uber put into this.
  • Reply 16 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,805member
    Just another example of how automakers don’t need Apple to be able to build autonomous and self driving vehicles. If Apple really wants to play in this space they’re going to need to build their own vehicle, and maybe it’s not something sold directly to consumers. Maybe Apple becomes its own ride sharing service.


    Question - Couldn't Apple just join this consortium? I don't think this would affect them negatively, if this were the case.
    I think they must or they risk being left in the dust..
    The loner approach Apple had taken in the AI field has hurt them... now they are trying to mingle and makeup for some of the screwup.

    Data is everything.. then analytics and algorithms.
    Sorry to say this is where Google has Apple beat hands down.
    I hope Apple does whatever it can to catch up..it is crucial !
    They sure have the resources! 
    Alphabet, via Google, make 99% of its revenue from Google advertising.   That's not a number I picked from the air to mean 'the vast majority of', it's the actual percentage of Alphabet's revenue generated by its Google subdivision.  So apart from bragging rights on besting the human Go! champion, it's hard to see how Alphabet/Google has beat Apple in this realm.  It doesn't produce profits until it ships and Google isn't shipping much more than more effectively convincing people who would rather see zero advertisements to click on the ones they do see.  Not a terribly noble accomplishment, in my opinion.  
    You're mixing things up a bit, perhaps confused about Google and Alphabet. Only about 88% of Google revenues come from advertising, the other 12% a basket of stuff like Cloud sales, hardware, Google Play, etc.. That "other" category of Google, over $3B last quarter (extrapolates to $12B/year currently), would make it a Fortune 500 company if it were standalone. But yes Google as a subsidiary is 99% of Alphabets revenue, but not entirely from ads. 
    radarthekat
  • Reply 17 of 21
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 762member
    Society is finished with the high crime and decay of America's public transportation infrastructure. Privately operated self driving vehicles can't come soon enough!
  • Reply 18 of 21
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    blastdoor said:
    Meh -- sounds like a bunch of latecomers trying to get together. Toyota, Intel, and Ericsson are nowhere near the cutting edge of anything having to do with mobile or autonomy, sfaik. 

    I'm really curious to know who GM is partnering with. There will allegedly be autonomous Bolts on the streets of several cities next year accepting real life passengers for rides. Even if it doesn't happen according to plan, it's clear they have a plan and must be working with somebody in tech to make that happen. What will the AI hardware be in those Bolts? Who is doing the software? Is GM working with Google on software and data? With Nvidia on hardware? Or are they working with other players? They must be working with somebody... 
    Nobody really knows where anyone stands right now, talk of being "behind" is wildly premature
    The main driver of car sales is reliability, styling, cost to operate and then feature set.
    For being to switch to a brand they would deem less reliable, there must be one hell of reason why and no one is near that likely will be in the next 5 years.
  • Reply 19 of 21
    Apple's go-it-alone strategy may be a huge mistake in this business. Assuming Apple's even in -- or interested in -- this business. 
  • Reply 20 of 21
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,926moderator

    nht said:
    Just another example of how automakers don’t need Apple to be able to build autonomous and self driving vehicles. If Apple really wants to play in this space they’re going to need to build their own vehicle, and maybe it’s not something sold directly to consumers. Maybe Apple becomes its own ride sharing service.
    The idea of the ride sharing service just screams Apple to me. By the time this happens, Apple could have committed lines of production and control the lifespan of these vehicles; essentially they could then provide a transportation experience that only Apple can provide.

    Question - Couldn't Apple just join this consortium? I don't think this would affect them negatively, if this were the case.
    As I've been saying all along, autonomous vehicles might not be the next big thing.  

    The car of the future is already here.  It's called a Smartphone.  Think about it.  If you were to clear the slate, look at the modern world and ask yourself, how would I design a transportation system given existing and soon-to-come technologies, like autonomous driving, real-time availability scheduling. Route optimization, etc, no way you'd conclude there should be a car, or two, in every garage.  You'd create a technology/software infrastructure to allow individuals to call up the transportation they need (car, truck, van, etc) on-demand.  And it would show up wherever they are, or wherever they are going to be, when it's needed.  You'd be able to schedule transportation in advance, like the airport shuttles of yesteryear that you'd schedule a week in advance. Über pretty much killed that business, I expect.  


    Or schedule recurring transportation, such as to take the kids to soccer practice and back.  In this case the transportation technology system might suggest a shared van service, that knows the schedules for local after school sports practice and offers up and constructs pick-up and drop-off routes based upon participation; a regular route to gather up the kids and deliver them.  Accommodation for security will be considered when children are being transported without accompanying parents, such as real-time tracking and a constant open line of communication, both audio and video streaming from the vehicle to parent's smartphones. 


    The specific vehicle that arrives can be determined by number of passengers, whether you'll be transporting something large or just yourself, etc.  The notion of owning, maintaining, accommodating parking requirements of, insuring, etc, a personal vehicle, for many people, has already begun to feel like 'the old paridigm.'  


    To create this infrastructure, you need route optimization software, that incorporates the real-time whereabouts of all vehicles in a local fleet. You need scheduling software.  You need to deal with remaining charge/range of each vehicle out in service to know when a vehicle can accommodate an additional requested or scheduled route without running out of juice.  You need to accommodate stand-by, where the vehicle drops someone off at a location and is requested to stand-by for an indeterminate time while the person goes into a store or bank to run an errand.  In short, you need a very sophisticated set of interacting technologies to accommodate smooth operation of a transportation network that provides near immediate responsiveness to a population's constantly fluctuating needs.


    If I were Tim Cook, this is exactly the way I'd envision the future, and this is what I'd set out to create.  It's not so much about constructing vehicles yourself, but about getting sign-in from all vehicle manufacturers such that their vehicles can work within the envisioned transportation network.  And that means that people who do own vehicles could lend them into their local autonomous transportation fleet in order to earn money (this has already been suggested by Musk and makes sense for a maker of vehicles to accommodate, as it helps him sell more Teslas direct to consumers).  It means that new rental fleets will simply be staged in large metro areas, with one or more depots that the vehicles come back to for recharging, maintenance, cleaning, etc.  And that means that there's a path forward for the rental companies, because they already have staging areas for their existing fleets.  The big picture can be accommodated during a transition phase from the world we have today to a world where almost all transportation is shared and autonomous.  


    Extend this to trucking, inter-city bussing, etc, and the whole thing becomes a future that Apple could play a major role in developing.  Without ever producing, on their own, a single vehicle.


    Also key to this is that everything Apple needs to do to revolutionize transportation does not require Apple to do any work on autonomous driving, nor does Apple need to build a single vehicle model.  Nope, Apple will want to own the end user interaction used to summon and schedule transportation, and it'll want to own the route optimization algorithms and server side scheduling and dispatch.  And take a cut of every ride.  


    There will need to be some tech in each car to pick up the user interaction that began on a rider's smartphone or Watch, once the car arrives to pick up the rider.  The car will need a voice interface to interact with the rider.  The car will need to constantly ping its whereabouts to the dispatch and scheduling servers, along with its charge level, so that the dispatch system can determine its next pick up and determine when it needs to exit the active fleet and return to a nearby depot for recharging or maintenance.  The car will need to contain sensors, like internal cameras, to monitor for left-behind packages, spilled coffee, etc, and report appropriately to riders or to dispatch.  The car will need streaming audio/video capabilities to stream to parents when children are riding without adult accompaniment.  All of this can be designed as a set of interfaces that automakers can implement in order to be compatible with Apple's dispatch and routing servers, and the vehicles might also be required to utilize Apple's mapping infrastructure.  


    Once verified as able to serve a ride request, the car is handed details on the location of the rider, and the rider's destination, and it can then utilize its own autonomous driving capabilities to serve the request.  And all of this can integrate both driverless and human driven vehicles into the same service.  So as vehicles are developed that are licensed for autonomous operation, these can be added to an existing Uber-like fleet of human driven vehicles, both serving together to form a centrally requested and directed/dispatched swarm serving a metrolitan area.  Eventually, the human driven vehicles would all be replaced with autonomous vehicles, and the future will have arrived.  

    You've essentially described uber and lyft

    Neither of those deal with several aspects of a fleet of autonomous vehicles, such as monitoring remaining charge per vehicle to return a vehicle to a depot, cleanliness and operating condition of an autonomous vehicle, scheduling rides in advance, combining multiple fleets, such as from competing rental car agencies, into a single efficiently managed fleet, handling requests for different vehicle types, such as a car, van, truck, etc, route optimization across an entire fleet with varying remaining charge levels and varying distances to each vehicle's available service/charging depots, sharing of depots and charging centers across competing fleets and assiciatedaccounting. Uber and Lyft are very rudimentary versions of a true ride-sharing society, relying upon the individual drivers to deal with maintenance, fueling, cleaning, routing, uptime, downtime, etc. all this needs to be rethink once the fleets ae autonomous. And it's a very big challenge. Thus, a tech player like Apple with a penchant for designing systems that yield excellent user experiences, and happens already to have a billion plus pieces of hardware out n the field through which users could interact with such a service.


    There are few additional points you might want to consider:

    i) Cars are ONE of the transportation modes, NOT the ONLY transportation mode available to people. Buses, Trains, Bikes, Planes will continue to be available as choices for people

    ii) As already mentioned by @GeorgeBMac, there are genuine reasons which would prevent "autonomous" cars as the ONLY option even in countries where autonomous cars make sense. At best, it would co-exist with manually operated cars (electric or non-electric), apart from buses and bikes on the same roads

    iii) Only in US, Europe and other rich countries cars are one of the main transportation options. Not sure about china. But countries like India (where I live) and other not-so-rich countries, cars would NEVER be a main transportation option - due to lack of roads, population density, cost of vehicle (either manually operated or autonomous) etc

    iv) There will be about 50% to 60% of the world population which would rarely see (if at all they see) autonomous cars in their countries

    While autonomous cars will play an important role in transportation in future, I don't see it eliminating manually operated cars. It has to be designed to co-exist with bikes, buses AND manually operated cars and be damn good at it. It would be a long way out (at least 2 decades) for that to become one of the main transportation options in future in US/Europe, possibly China and few other counties. In rest of the world, autonomous cars would play a marginal role, if any.

    I live in the Philippines, as of last Sept, and I agree with your observations regarding most of the world being unsuitable for widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles.
    GeorgeBMac
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