Apple likely to be 'all-in or all-out' of self-driving cars within 2 years, analyst argues...

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Apple's experimentation with autonomous car technology is likely to veer away from creating a simple platform and back towards a fully self-designed vehicle, one analyst argues.




"Apple is investing in autonomous driving as 'the mother of all AI projects' but has not yet committed to a car," said Guggenheim's Robert Cirha in a report obtained by AppleInsider. "Yet we see its entire business model based on vertically- integrated control, so think it unlikely Apple sells modular AI to third-parties. We rather expect Apple to get all-in or all-out over the next 2 yrs., and are thinking all-in given the draw of technology disruption and sheer size of TAM [total addressable market]."

Apple was believed to have been working on its own car in 2015, but switched directions in late 2016, focusing on a platform instead. The company has been rumored as pursuing the ridehailing market, possibly in partnership with firms like China's Didi Chuxing.

Returning to a full-fledged vehicle would satisfy Apple's usual desire to control its ecosystem, but pose other obstacles. While it has tapped a number of experts, for example, as a business it's still new to car design and would have to compete not just against EV specialists like Tesla but every established automaker. It would also have to find partners anyway, since it doesn't have any manufacturing capacity.

It would moreover have to adjust to much longer upgrade cycles, and expand its support infrastructure. Automakers often provide parts and support for vehicles for decades, whereas Apple declares Macs and other electronics "obsolete" after just seven years.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    tipootipoo Posts: 839member
    Analyst: "Apple may or may not do a thing. So, uh, will that be paid in a cheque, or..." 
    wonkothesaneNotsofastanomerandominternetpersonStrangeDaysrepressthiscornchipmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobrabeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 2 of 22
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,529member
    Astute analysis. /s

    SpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 22
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,622member
    They're already all in, the analysts just don't know it yet, they know nothing about anything so that's not surprising.

    The Chinese 1Billion investment in the ride hailing service wasn't just done for kicks, there is something important there that has not been fully used yet.
    bshankwatto_cobralolliverh2p
  • Reply 4 of 22
    My guess is there is more than one experienced Chinese auto maker that would be jump at the chance be the "Foxconn of Cars" for Apple.
    randominternetpersonrepressthiscornchipwatto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 5 of 22
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 2,722member
    Toyota recently announced it was spending $3B on self driving car software technology. Car companies are doing their own thing. The idea that Apple will supply the brains for someone else’s car makes no sense. Other than the disasterous Mac clones when has Apple ever licensed software for someone else’s hardware? When it comes to autonomous and self driving vehicles without rock solid software there is no vehicle. It only makes sense that Apple would focus on the brains first and if they’re confident they can nail that then move on to the vehicle part. That could start out as building vehicles for ride sharing services and not direct to consumer. 
    Notsofastrepressthis
  • Reply 6 of 22
    FolioFolio Posts: 203member
    Not sure what oft-cited "mother of AI projects" means. Certainly by maturity, it's probably most impressive. But that also shows it's hardly the most challenging. Not as tough e.g. as a desirable Siri companion, nor as creative reasoning derived from scraping global databases.
  • Reply 7 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,462member
    Toyota recently announced it was spending $3B on self driving car software technology. Car companies are doing their own thing. The idea that Apple will supply the brains for someone else’s car makes no sense. Other than the disasterous Mac clones when has Apple ever licensed software for someone else’s hardware? When it comes to autonomous and self driving vehicles without rock solid software there is no vehicle. It only makes sense that Apple would focus on the brains first and if they’re confident they can nail that then move on to the vehicle part. That could start out as building vehicles for ride sharing services and not direct to consumer. 
    The last documents I saw listed 50 different companies that have applied to the State of California alone for testing of their autonomous driving systems on public highways. 50!
    repressthismuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 8 of 22
    Folio said:
    Not sure what oft-cited "mother of AI projects" means. Certainly by maturity, it's probably most impressive. But that also shows it's hardly the most challenging. Not as tough e.g. as a desirable Siri companion, nor as creative reasoning derived from scraping global databases.
    How about the “mother of all AI projects” being the playground where Apple develops an industry leading and  proprietary AI engine for future projects. 

    The goal isnt isn’t self driving transportation, it is the AI technology itself. 
    watto_cobrabeowulfschmidtsteveau
  • Reply 9 of 22
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,104member
    Folio said:
    Not sure what oft-cited "mother of AI projects" means. Certainly by maturity, it's probably most impressive. But that also shows it's hardly the most challenging. Not as tough e.g. as a desirable Siri companion, nor as creative reasoning derived from scraping global databases.
    How about the “mother of all AI projects” being the playground where Apple develops an industry leading and  proprietary AI engine for future projects. 

    The goal isnt isn’t self driving transportation, it is the AI technology itself. 
    And will it be skybound relatively soon?

    http://www.huawei.com/en/press-events/news/2017/11/Huawei-Wireless-XLabs-Digital-Sky-Initiative
  • Reply 10 of 22
    NotsofastNotsofast Posts: 220member
    Toyota recently announced it was spending $3B on self driving car software technology. Car companies are doing their own thing. The idea that Apple will supply the brains for someone else’s car makes no sense. Other than the disasterous Mac clones when has Apple ever licensed software for someone else’s hardware? When it comes to autonomous and self driving vehicles without rock solid software there is no vehicle. It only makes sense that Apple would focus on the brains first and if they’re confident they can nail that then move on to the vehicle part. That could start out as building vehicles for ride sharing services and not direct to consumer. 
    You're spot on. Folks never understood that the car companies were never going to just stand by while Google or any other company built "the cars of the future."  The technology, lidar, lasers, cameras, has matured enough that is fairly inexpensive on a per vehicle basis.  For example, Toyota installs Safety Sense (lane departure, forward collision warning, pedestrian collision avoidance, etc.,  on the cheapest cars in their fleet.  The play is for Apple to partner with a major manufacture to offer the Apple Car experience, and likely to field a fleet of vehicles for a  Uber like company. 

    Google will be doing the same, but they will be audio/video recording everything said, everyone who is in the car, everywhere you go,  feeding ads, etc., as the Borg of our times grows ever more evil in amassing dossiers on everyone on the planet. This evil will be more fully revealed when more people wake up and realize that Google, (to their credit they at least tell folks they are doing it, knowing no one reads their policies) is amassing every intimate detail of your life under what they call your "universal identifier" where every email sent or received, every photo, everywhere you drive, every document you upload, every search made, website visited, etc. is amassed.  
    Imagine now when the Chinese government gets access to your Google file, or criminal hackers, or some intel agency.  
    edited March 5 aegeanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,462member
    Notsofast said:
    Toyota recently announced it was spending $3B on self driving car software technology. Car companies are doing their own thing. The idea that Apple will supply the brains for someone else’s car makes no sense. Other than the disasterous Mac clones when has Apple ever licensed software for someone else’s hardware? When it comes to autonomous and self driving vehicles without rock solid software there is no vehicle. It only makes sense that Apple would focus on the brains first and if they’re confident they can nail that then move on to the vehicle part. That could start out as building vehicles for ride sharing services and not direct to consumer. 
    You're spot on. Folks never understood that the car companies were never going to just stand by while Google or any other company built "the cars of the future."  The technology, lidar, lasers, cameras, has matured enough that is fairly inexpensive on a per vehicle basis.  For example, Toyota installs Safety Sense (lane departure, forward collision warning, pedestrian collision avoidance, etc.,  on the cheapest cars in their fleet.  The play is for Apple to partner with a major manufacture to offer the Apple Car experience, and likely to field a fleet of vehicles for a  Uber like company. 

    Google will be doing the same, but they will be audio/video recording everything said, everyone who is in the car, everywhere you go,  feeding ads, etc., as the Borg of our times grows ever more evil in amassing dossiers on everyone on the planet. This evil will be more fully revealed when more people wake up and realize that Google, (to their credit they at least tell folks they are doing it, knowing no one reads their policies) is amassing every intimate detail of your life under what they call your "universal identifier" where every email sent or received, every photo, everywhere you drive, every document you upload, every search made, website visited, etc. is amassed.  
    Imagine now when the Chinese government gets access to your Google file, or criminal hackers, or some intel agency.  
    ROFTL! Advertising must really REALLY bother you. It doesn't bother Apple as much obviously since they use Google AdWords themselves for promoting their products (visit http://www.ispionage.com/ and plug in Apple.com in the search box) and are now bringing in Google's DoubleClick ads too in their News app in addition to their own Apple user targeted ad program.
    edited March 5 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 22
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,068member
    If people like Mark Gurman or Rene Ritchie can't back any of this up, I guarantee this analyst has no clue. 
    repressthisbshank
  • Reply 13 of 22
    kamiltonkamilton Posts: 255member
    Toyota recently announced it was spending $3B on self driving car software technology. Car companies are doing their own thing. The idea that Apple will supply the brains for someone else’s car makes no sense. Other than the disasterous Mac clones when has Apple ever licensed software for someone else’s hardware? When it comes to autonomous and self driving vehicles without rock solid software there is no vehicle. It only makes sense that Apple would focus on the brains first and if they’re confident they can nail that then move on to the vehicle part. That could start out as building vehicles for ride sharing services and not direct to consumer. 
    I agree.  May not be the whole gambit, but certainly a key component.
  • Reply 14 of 22
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,036member
    orthicon said:
    My guess is there is more than one experienced Chinese auto maker that would be jump at the chance be the "Foxconn of Cars" for Apple.
    Soo.... what’s your role on project titan? ; ) 
  • Reply 15 of 22
    The Chinese have been knocking off same year Buick’s and Fords for over a decade. It’s important to remember Foxconn wasn’t just unknown once upon a time, they were considered third rate. No one would build the iPod for Apple and then Intel passed on the iPhone and it’s not difficult to assume that the nature of the last 35 years of manufacturing has really been someone’s else’s problem to figure out and they’ve learned to manage it extremely well. 

    The brain Ian is the hard part. Continue to use the trope “cars are so hard”  all you want but the Chinese do everything and build everything we used too faster and now at the same quality ... it’s difficult to imagine Apple will open dealerships so I think it’s more probable it’s a service and if it’s perfect it could very well kill the old world model of car purcashing.

    very few people will be buying Cadillac’s and Tesla’s 

    theres zero incentive for the car car company’s to start making civics that can drive themselves. The tech will never drop below 10 k in add on 

    think it through. This is the abs of the next decade. It’s an up charge. It’ll be 50 years before the pedal and steering wheel get the boot 
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 16 of 22
    It should all be like Uber. 
    Because buying an Apple Car would likely be very expensive.
  • Reply 17 of 22
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,506member
     The idea that Apple will supply the brains for someone else’s car makes no sense. Other than the disasterous Mac clones when has Apple ever licensed software for someone else’s hardware? 
    The last time you posted this question was in the middle of thread talking about CarPlay. I laughed for a whole minute, then replied: 

    “CarPlay”


  • Reply 18 of 22
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 702member
    gatorguy said:
    Notsofast said:
    Toyota recently announced it was spending $3B on self driving car software technology. Car companies are doing their own thing. The idea that Apple will supply the brains for someone else’s car makes no sense. Other than the disasterous Mac clones when has Apple ever licensed software for someone else’s hardware? When it comes to autonomous and self driving vehicles without rock solid software there is no vehicle. It only makes sense that Apple would focus on the brains first and if they’re confident they can nail that then move on to the vehicle part. That could start out as building vehicles for ride sharing services and not direct to consumer. 
    You're spot on. Folks never understood that the car companies were never going to just stand by while Google or any other company built "the cars of the future."  The technology, lidar, lasers, cameras, has matured enough that is fairly inexpensive on a per vehicle basis.  For example, Toyota installs Safety Sense (lane departure, forward collision warning, pedestrian collision avoidance, etc.,  on the cheapest cars in their fleet.  The play is for Apple to partner with a major manufacture to offer the Apple Car experience, and likely to field a fleet of vehicles for a  Uber like company. 

    Google will be doing the same, but they will be audio/video recording everything said, everyone who is in the car, everywhere you go,  feeding ads, etc., as the Borg of our times grows ever more evil in amassing dossiers on everyone on the planet. This evil will be more fully revealed when more people wake up and realize that Google, (to their credit they at least tell folks they are doing it, knowing no one reads their policies) is amassing every intimate detail of your life under what they call your "universal identifier" where every email sent or received, every photo, everywhere you drive, every document you upload, every search made, website visited, etc. is amassed.  
    Imagine now when the Chinese government gets access to your Google file, or criminal hackers, or some intel agency.  
    ROFTL! Advertising must really REALLY bother you. It doesn't bother Apple as much obviously since they use Google AdWords themselves for promoting their products (visit http://www.ispionage.com/ and plug in Apple.com in the search box) and are now bringing in Google's DoubleClick ads too in their News app in addition to their own Apple user targeted ad program.
    It really bothers me too!  I don’t like being forced to allow a company to read every message and email or transcript my phone calls to even be able to use a service or even just to use my phone. Remember this is the company that says they like to get up to the creepy line but “try not to cross it”. They have also been caught tracking people when they the customer said not to. 

    The other side is that since they are documenting everything you do, they are like you keeping a detailed journal but only Google has access to it. That means that it can be demanded by the government.
     

    lolliver
  • Reply 19 of 22

    Personally, I'm kind of hoping that Apple does get into the car business (though it wouldn't surprise me if they became a supplier of self driving AI, either).  In another 25 years or so, I'll likely be at the stage where I shouldn't be allowed to drive myself, and my kids have already been taught not to let me if I'm truly dangerous to myself or others.  So when that time comes, I'd love to hear something like this from them, "Dad, we can't let you drive yourself anymore, so we've bought you the new self-driving 'Red Delicious' model Apple Car."

    Bring it.

    randominternetpersonSpamSandwichlolliver
  • Reply 20 of 22
    The Chinese have been knocking off same year Buick’s and Fords for over a decade. It’s important to remember Foxconn wasn’t just unknown once upon a time, they were considered third rate. No one would build the iPod for Apple and then Intel passed on the iPhone and it’s not difficult to assume that the nature of the last 35 years of manufacturing has really been someone’s else’s problem to figure out and they’ve learned to manage it extremely well. 

    The brain Ian is the hard part. Continue to use the trope “cars are so hard”  all you want but the Chinese do everything and build everything we used too faster and now at the same quality ... it’s difficult to imagine Apple will open dealerships so I think it’s more probable it’s a service and if it’s perfect it could very well kill the old world model of car purcashing.

    very few people will be buying Cadillac’s and Tesla’s 

    theres zero incentive for the car car company’s to start making civics that can drive themselves. The tech will never drop below 10 k in add on 

    think it through. This is the abs of the next decade. It’s an up charge. It’ll be 50 years before the pedal and steering wheel get the boot 
    50 years is a very, very long time.  Once they work out the kinks and it's available at the high end of the market, it'll move down into the mainstream and become the dominant mode of driving within 10 years.  Maybe we'll still have pedals and steering wheels in 2040, but few people will use them very often.
    edited March 6 lolliver
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