Toyota president tells Apple to prepare for the long-haul with 'Apple Car'

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 52
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,259member

    It's funny because when I had a 2005 Scion Xb (Toyota) and tried to book it for service w/ the dealer in 2016, the website warned me it was "too old" and the dealer may not work on it. Sooooo.....so much for this statement. (The dealer did accept the appointment and did work on it, tho).

    As for 40 years...yeah no. If I had a car from 1981 I think all bets for readily available parts are off, and I'd be prepared to work w/ a specialist/collector's mechanic. Now w/ EVs who knows how that will work...but that certainly isn't unique to Apple.
    Going to a Toyota dealership has nothing to do with Toyota the automobile manufacturer, or any car maker for that matter.  Dealerships aren't owned by car makers and trying to tie your experience with a dealer to Toyoda's statement is an error.  You obviously dealt with either 1) a lazy individual or 2) an inexperienced individual.  Possibly both.  Pretty much any dealership, not just a Toyota seller, but any dealership will work on cars far older than 11 years.  Most, would even work on cars not related to the brands they sell.  

    As for 40 years... yeah but yeah.  Using your example, I went to Toyota Parts and put in 1981 Corolla.  https://parts.toyota.com/Toyota_1981_Corolla.html ; Toyota's are utilitarian every-man vehicles.  Rarely ever would one require a specialist.  
    Nope, you just don't know what you're talking about. I spoke to no such individual, this was a coded business rule implemented in the website. It's been years but sure let's say it was the dealer's website, which I got to via the brand website's redirect. Doesn't make a difference -- their system generated this warning to me the customer. So again, it takes the wind out of this claim from Toyota. Like I said the dealer elected to do the work, but clearly they didn't have to, such that they auto-generate the warning.

    Again, I wouldn't expect parts on a 40-year-old car, tho I'm happy your Corolla has them. In MN anything over 20 years is eligible for "collector" plates.

    But like I said, any such challenge for EV manufacturers will absolutely not be unique to Apple. Tesla, Nissan, every EV maker will have to devise a strategy. It's really not rocket science, is it?
    edited March 2021 watto_cobra
  • Reply 22 of 52
    shaminoshamino Posts: 507member
    This will be a completely new experience for Apple.  Right now, all but my newest Mac (purchased last October) are considered "Obsolete" and therefore can't be serviced by Apple for any amount of money.  This includes my 2011 MacBook Air and 2012 MacBook Pro, both of which work great and are still in use.  And let's forget about the older Macs I have that rarely get turned on but still work (2005 iBook G4, 2002 PowerMac G4 and a 1987 Mac SE) or Apple II equipment (a 1984 //c and a 1986 IIGS).

    All of these are within a 40 year window (that goes back to 1981).  But for a lot of these, it would be completely impossible to get replacement parts for any amount of money, both unique parts (like motherboards) or commodity parts (like a CRT display, a SCSI hard drive or SIMM-based memory)

    The automotive industry typically manufactures a large stockpile of parts after they discontinue a vehicle in order to be able to repair the majority of vehicles that customers bring to a dealer for repair.  If you turn away a customer bringing a 10 year old car in for service, it will create a company-killing reputation.

    The computer industry has never had to do this because most people are willing to replace old computers in order to have the capabilities of the newer models, so there isn't much demand for servicing them.  If Apple starts making cars, they are going to find themselves learning a lot of hard lessons very quickly.
  • Reply 23 of 52
    cloudguycloudguy Posts: 323member
    Yes, because Apple knows nothing about long term service and support. 

    In terms of cars, they actually don't.
    Very true. They won't be able to get out of stopping support and spares production after 5 years. Then there is the right to repair. There is no way that Apple would ever be charging me through the nose to change the brake pads. These are commodity items and any half-decent mechanic including myself can change them. The same goes for tyres and wiper blades.
    Apple will be on a huge learning curve. What has worked for their business so far won't work when you get into the Automotive business.
    Apple is the only PC company from 45 years ago to still standing -- and not only still standing, but the most successful PC company. And not only the most successful PC company, but the most successful public company in history. If all that proves anything, it's that they know how to adapt. If you're still betting against Apple at this point, dunno what to say, I hope you aren't a betting man.
    1. HP was founded in 1932.
    2. Acer was founded in 1976.

    So you are wrong there. 

    The most successful PC company ... has 8% market share for #4 overall? 1/3 the market share of #1 and 1/2 the market share of #3? Only 6 million more sold than #6? In their best year in history? Again wrong.

    Apple is the most successful public company in history ... because of the iPhone and the iPad. The services related to the iPhone and iPad make more profit than the rest of their divisions combined. 

    Bet against Apple? No. But take the position that Apple isn't necessarily going to dominate or redefine every single space that it enters? Well we have the HomePod, Apple TV, Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade as evidence. And when you consider that most of the actual innovation in the mobile space the past 6-7 years (if not more) has come from Android then you should revise that to how Apple fans should stop dismissing Apple's competitors. Even when they trip over and embarrass themselves - Microsoft with Zune and Windows Mobile, Samsung with Bixby and Tizen, Google With Android Things and wearables, Dell with bankruptcy - they generally stick around and do very well for themselves. The same will happen in the car industry too.
    CloudTalkin
  • Reply 24 of 52
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,007member
    Similar to the phone giants warning Apple that entering an already-crowded phone market is not something easy to do.... well... *hmm....
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 52
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,180member
    There is a way to avoid supporting it for 40 years. Don't ever sell the car to anyone. Go with an Uber/lift like business model. 
    How about leasing? Can a person who leases a car get it fixed with parts that are unapproved by the manufacturer?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 52
    qwerty52qwerty52 Posts: 360member
    cloudguy said:
    gilly33 said:
    Aww oh-oh. Are they getting scared already. Big duh of course a car comes with long term commitment. Guess Apple hasn’t shown long term commitment to their core products. Thanks Toyota. 

    This "Apple, destroyer of competition" thing isn't true at all. The only place where it has been true is the iPod. And no, it wasn't the iPhone that crushed Blackberry, Nokia, Java JMS and Windows Mobile. If you have 15% market share you can't crush anyone. It is Android and their 85% market share that killed off everyone else. Just like it was Microsoft who crushed everyone else in the PC market (until Google was able to parlay their Android and Chrome browser success into some ChromeOS market share). 



    The only thing, you forgot to mention it is, that Android is shameless copy of iOS / iPhone. So, it is well iPhone who killed off everyone else.
    I suppose you are living in a wishful thinking Samsung would............ But this is not the reality 
    StrangeDaysradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 27 of 52
    I still think Apple will go the route of Car as a service. I really would be surprised to see them sell to individuals. That’s so 1920. Honestly. Transportation as a subscription service. You call it, it shows up. You choose the size and distance you need ETC. Cars are the single largest depreciated asset in most peoples lives. You lose half the value driving off the lot, and it sits in a garage or parking lot more than it is driven. I’d be really surprised to see Apple chase a 100 year old business model. You pay a monthly fee, maybe 3 tiers, and that gets you so many miles or so many trips and a choice of what type of vehicle you want. There is more money in that than there is in selling cars via a dealership model. They will start in the large cities and move out. It’s not going to be a car for every town.
    edited March 2021 radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 52
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,259member
    cloudguy said:
    Yes, because Apple knows nothing about long term service and support. 

    In terms of cars, they actually don't.
    Very true. They won't be able to get out of stopping support and spares production after 5 years. Then there is the right to repair. There is no way that Apple would ever be charging me through the nose to change the brake pads. These are commodity items and any half-decent mechanic including myself can change them. The same goes for tyres and wiper blades.
    Apple will be on a huge learning curve. What has worked for their business so far won't work when you get into the Automotive business.
    Apple is the only PC company from 45 years ago to still standing -- and not only still standing, but the most successful PC company. And not only the most successful PC company, but the most successful public company in history. If all that proves anything, it's that they know how to adapt. If you're still betting against Apple at this point, dunno what to say, I hope you aren't a betting man.
    1. HP was founded in 1932.
    2. Acer was founded in 1976.

    So you are wrong there. 

    The most successful PC company ... has 8% market share for #4 overall? 1/3 the market share of #1 and 1/2 the market share of #3? Only 6 million more sold than #6? In their best year in history? Again wrong.

    Apple is the most successful public company in history ... because of the iPhone and the iPad. The services related to the iPhone and iPad make more profit than the rest of their divisions combined. 

    Bet against Apple? No. But take the position that Apple isn't necessarily going to dominate or redefine every single space that it enters? Well we have the HomePod, Apple TV, Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade as evidence. And when you consider that most of the actual innovation in the mobile space the past 6-7 years (if not more) has come from Android then you should revise that to how Apple fans should stop dismissing Apple's competitors. Even when they trip over and embarrass themselves - Microsoft with Zune and Windows Mobile, Samsung with Bixby and Tizen, Google With Android Things and wearables, Dell with bankruptcy - they generally stick around and do very well for themselves. The same will happen in the car industry too.
    You're confusing corporate existence with selling personal computers. 

    - Apple began selling PCs in 1976. Multitech (renamed Acer in 1987) didn't begin selling clones until 1981.
    - HP was founded in 1939; in the '60-70s it was selling programmable calculators. Sure these were early "computers" but they didn't have real displays or even alpha keyboards. They got screens & became scientific computers for engineering around 1980:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP_series_80

    You can argue Mac market share until you're blue in the face, doesn't fucking matter. Most successful is based on profit and value. So nope, not wrong -- Apple remains the most successful. And for countless quarters even their smaller market share PC division earned more than the other PC makers. Again, profit is the air corporations breath -- not some neckbeard hot take on market share. Welcome to business.

    Then a tangent about shit unrelated to the point -- which was...that Apple knows how to adapt and survive. Thus, I'm not worried about them being able to service EVs. lol
    edited March 2021 qwerty52roundaboutnowradarthekatsdbryanwatto_cobrashamino
  • Reply 29 of 52
    cloudguy said:
    gilly33 said:
    Aww oh-oh. Are they getting scared already. Big duh of course a car comes with long term commitment. Guess Apple hasn’t shown long term commitment to their core products. Thanks Toyota. 
    No, they aren't scared already. Why should they be? Look at Apple's current product line.
    1. PCs: selling them since the 1970s. 8% market share in 2020, usually lower.
    2. smartphones: practically invented the market in 2007. Usually 15% market share.
    3. tablets: again, invented the market in 2010. Usually 35% market share. 
    4. Apple Watch: basically invented the market in 2015, 50% market share.
    5. Apple Music: at best #3 in music streaming to Spotify and YouTube. Tidal, Amazon Music and Pandora are still around.
    6. AirPod. Didn't invent the market  - Samsung did - but despite great mindshare and profit margin but everyone else - Sony, Bose, Anker, JBL, Samsung and a host of others - have had no problems competing and even driving innovation here.

    And those are the successes. Not as successful:
    7. HomePod. Less than 3 million units of the original since 2018, practically no one talks about the Mini.
    8. Apple TV. Apple (again) invented this category in 2007 and are in 4th place behind Roku, Fire TV and the various Android TV devices. The gap between #3 and #4 is so big that they may even be behind smart TV-only platforms like Samsung, LG and Opera. 
    9. Apple Arcade. The last time you heard anyone talking about it was when exactly? If it had a fraction of the regular users that xCloud and Nvidia GeForce Now does we would have heard about it. The last real news from this effort was Apple ending commitments with publishers (fulfilling certain financial obligations but maintaining the exclusivity, preventing the games from ever being released anywhere). 
    10. Apple TV+. Launched 18 months ago and is basically giving it away.

    This "Apple, destroyer of competition" thing isn't true at all. The only place where it has been true is the iPod. And no, it wasn't the iPhone that crushed Blackberry, Nokia, Java JMS and Windows Mobile. If you have 15% market share you can't crush anyone. It is Android and their 85% market share that killed off everyone else. Just like it was Microsoft who crushed everyone else in the PC market (until Google was able to parlay their Android and Chrome browser success into some ChromeOS market share). 

    True. AND - 
    McDonalds sells the most burgers. You don’t need to ‘beat’ McDonalds to have a successful restaurant...

    qwerty52watto_cobra
  • Reply 30 of 52
    ...well, Tesla did it, and they started with fewer resources than Apple has...nice scare tactic attempt, though...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 52
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,550member
    ibill said:
    "We've learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent car. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in."
    That's not what he's saying at all.  In the article he even says, "Anyone can make a car if they have the technical ability".  He saying the tech companies should be prepared for service and support timeframes they may not be used to with their current product life cycles.  
    Yes, because Apple knows nothing about long term service and support. 
    Supporting a phone or computer for 5-10 years is not comparable to supporting something for up to 4 decades.  His caution is about understanding the requirement for a much longer timeframe of support.  
    Yep, spot on. There's a lot of grunt work required to keep these beasts on the road for decades. Just look at the vast network of third party auto parts suppliers that surround the major manufacturers. There are obviously some aspects of internal combustion engine based vehicles that don't have an equivalence with electric cars, but these are still very complex machines with a whole lot of moving parts, and now a plethora of software content, that will need to be kept going far beyond the day they left the showroom.

    I too see the statements from Mr. Toyoda as being thoughtful, pragmatic, and rooted in experience. He is not bashing Apple in any way, and is even welcoming Apple because he knows Apple brings excitement to everything they do. Getting some new blood and energy into the automobile market will help everyone who is positioned to take advantage of the kinds of changes a major new player brings to the game. You can rest assured that Toyota is going to be ready for the kinds of changes Apple may bring to the industry. Few companies are as well grounded, adaptable, and as focused as Toyota is in the markets they serve. 

    Think about what happened to American automobile manufacturer's when companies like Toyota (and Honda, Nissan, etc.) reached their stride in the North American market. The American auto maker's products got overwhelmingly better, at least the one's who adapted to the expectations that the newcomers established in buyer's minds and wallets. What I see here is that Toyota is fully prepared to adapt to whatever changes Apple brings. But they are also saying that Apple had better bring their A-game and bring a complete solution that meets buyer's long term expectations. Toyota can handle disruption, because they are superbly adaptable, but it's only worth their while if the net result is positive for the whole industry and does not lower standards. Disruption for disruption's sake, e.g., a fad or flash in the pan that cheapens the market (like a lot of shipping containers full of walmart-o-ware from China does) will eventually have a negative net impact on the market. Mr Toyoda gets it and I assume Tim Cook gets it too.
    edited March 2021 CloudTalkinmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 32 of 52
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,196member
    cloudguy said:
    gilly33 said:
    Aww oh-oh. Are they getting scared already. Big duh of course a car comes with long term commitment. Guess Apple hasn’t shown long term commitment to their core products. Thanks Toyota. 
    No, they aren't scared already. Why should they be? Look at Apple's current product line.
    1. PCs: selling them since the 1970s. 8% market share in 2020, usually lower.
    2. smartphones: practically invented the market in 2007. Usually 15% market share.
    3. tablets: again, invented the market in 2010. Usually 35% market share. 
    4. Apple Watch: basically invented the market in 2015, 50% market share.
    5. Apple Music: at best #3 in music streaming to Spotify and YouTube. Tidal, Amazon Music and Pandora are still around.
    6. AirPod. Didn't invent the market  - Samsung did - but despite great mindshare and profit margin but everyone else - Sony, Bose, Anker, JBL, Samsung and a host of others - have had no problems competing and even driving innovation here.

    And those are the successes. Not as successful:
    7. HomePod. Less than 3 million units of the original since 2018, practically no one talks about the Mini.
    8. Apple TV. Apple (again) invented this category in 2007 and are in 4th place behind Roku, Fire TV and the various Android TV devices. The gap between #3 and #4 is so big that they may even be behind smart TV-only platforms like Samsung, LG and Opera. 
    9. Apple Arcade. The last time you heard anyone talking about it was when exactly? If it had a fraction of the regular users that xCloud and Nvidia GeForce Now does we would have heard about it. The last real news from this effort was Apple ending commitments with publishers (fulfilling certain financial obligations but maintaining the exclusivity, preventing the games from ever being released anywhere). 
    10. Apple TV+. Launched 18 months ago and is basically giving it away.

    This "Apple, destroyer of competition" thing isn't true at all. The only place where it has been true is the iPod. And no, it wasn't the iPhone that crushed Blackberry, Nokia, Java JMS and Windows Mobile. If you have 15% market share you can't crush anyone. It is Android and their 85% market share that killed off everyone else. Just like it was Microsoft who crushed everyone else in the PC market (until Google was able to parlay their Android and Chrome browser success into some ChromeOS market share). 
    One significant flaw in your thesis.  You use marketshare as the yardstick for industry dominating success.  And we all know, Apple has demonstrated repeatedly that it is not.

    This is not to say that Toyota (or other traditional automakers) are “scared” of an Apple entry into their market.  Apple is a side show to them.  What keeps them up at night is the government driven transformation of the auto industry from ICE to EV.  If it were purely market forces at work many of theses changes would not be occurring nearly as fast or perhaps not at all.  These companies are going out on a limb betting billions that governments will not pull the financial incentives and regulatory rug out from underneath and make their investments in EV suddenly worthless.  Meanwhile, they continue to put on brave faces.
    qwerty52tmayradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 33 of 52
    I like Apple and I have for a long time.

    Having grown up in a household where my father (not to mention grandfather) worked for Chevrolet/GM, my appreciation of Toyota is somewhat more recent.

    My point is: I appreciate Apple for their innovation.

    I appreciate Toyota for their longevity and reliability.

    I buy cars for their longevity (or "bang for the buck" if you will.)

    It will be a long time before (if ever) I trust an Apple car as much as I trust a Toyota. (LONG time.) If I'm out in rural middle of no where and my iPhone breaks down, well, that's life. The issue becomes more severe if we're talking about my vehicle. I imagine if I never left the confines of urban areas my perspective would be different.
    MplsPprismatics
  • Reply 34 of 52
    byronlbyronl Posts: 252member
    There is a way to avoid supporting it for 40 years.
    Don't ever sell the car to anyone. 
    Go with an Uber/lift like business model. A person pays so much per month to have a car available all the time. The car shows up when needed.  After the vehicle has been completely depreciated in a few years, scrap it and put out the new model.
    40 years, yeah right.
    there’s gonna be a long time before apple is able to do this. also, ew. i wouldn’t wanna use a car that other 50 people have used the same day
    lkruppJWSClongfangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 35 of 52
    qwerty52qwerty52 Posts: 360member
    JWSC said:
    cloudguy said:
    gilly33 said:
    Aww oh-oh. Are they getting scared already. Big duh of course a car comes with long term commitment. Guess Apple hasn’t shown long term commitment to their core products. Thanks Toyota. 
    No, they aren't scared already. Why should they be? Look at Apple's current product line.
    1. PCs: selling them since the 1970s. 8% market share in 2020, usually lower.
    2. smartphones: practically invented the market in 2007. Usually 15% market share.
    3. tablets: again, invented the market in 2010. Usually 35% market share. 
    4. Apple Watch: basically invented the market in 2015, 50% market share.
    5. Apple Music: at best #3 in music streaming to Spotify and YouTube. Tidal, Amazon Music and Pandora are still around.
    6. AirPod. Didn't invent the market  - Samsung did - but despite great mindshare and profit margin but everyone else - Sony, Bose, Anker, JBL, Samsung and a host of others - have had no problems competing and even driving innovation here.

    And those are the successes. Not as successful:
    7. HomePod. Less than 3 million units of the original since 2018, practically no one talks about the Mini.
    8. Apple TV. Apple (again) invented this category in 2007 and are in 4th place behind Roku, Fire TV and the various Android TV devices. The gap between #3 and #4 is so big that they may even be behind smart TV-only platforms like Samsung, LG and Opera. 
    9. Apple Arcade. The last time you heard anyone talking about it was when exactly? If it had a fraction of the regular users that xCloud and Nvidia GeForce Now does we would have heard about it. The last real news from this effort was Apple ending commitments with publishers (fulfilling certain financial obligations but maintaining the exclusivity, preventing the games from ever being released anywhere). 
    10. Apple TV+. Launched 18 months ago and is basically giving it away.

    This "Apple, destroyer of competition" thing isn't true at all. The only place where it has been true is the iPod. And no, it wasn't the iPhone that crushed Blackberry, Nokia, Java JMS and Windows Mobile. If you have 15% market share you can't crush anyone. It is Android and their 85% market share that killed off everyone else. Just like it was Microsoft who crushed everyone else in the PC market (until Google was able to parlay their Android and Chrome browser success into some ChromeOS market share). 
    One significant flaw in your thesis.  You use marketshare as the yardstick for industry dominating success.  And we all know, Apple has demonstrated repeatedly that it is not.

    This is not to say that Toyota (or other traditional automakers) are “scared” of an Apple entry into their market.  Apple is a side show to them.  What keeps them up at night is the government driven transformation of the auto industry from ICE to EV.  If it were purely market forces at work many of theses changes would not be occurring nearly as fast or perhaps not at all.  These companies are going out on a limb betting billions that governments will not pull the financial incentives and regulatory rug out from underneath and make their investments in EV suddenly worthless.  Meanwhile, they continue to put on brave faces.
    Exactly! 
    Forget everything we know about cars. There is a new begin, new market rules and new opportunities. 
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 36 of 52
    1348513485 Posts: 244member
    I still think Apple will go the route of Car as a service. I really would be surprised to see them sell to individuals. That’s so 1920. Honestly. Transportation as a subscription service. You call it, it shows up. You choose the size and distance you need ETC. Cars are the single largest depreciated asset in most peoples lives. You lose half the value driving off the lot, and it sits in a garage or parking lot more than it is driven. I’d be really surprised to see Apple chase a 100 year old business model. You pay a monthly fee, maybe 3 tiers, and that gets you so many miles or so many trips and a choice of what type of vehicle you want. There is more money in that than there is in selling cars via a dealership model. They will start in the large cities and move out. It’s not going to be a car for every town.
    Absolutely will never happen--a taxi / rent-by-the-hour service? If anyone outside of San Francisco ever thought since 1920 that was a viable (read profitable) business model, it would already be everywhere. The rental car business is not exactly the most profitable in case you haven't noticed. In the US, with about 227 million licensed drivers, how long do you think it will take to get a vehicle to your house? Forgot to pick something up--or worse, someone? Good luck with that. A personal car is available instantaneously even in the middle of the night for any trip to anywhere with all your family accoutrements intact. 

    If you have paid attention to the patents Apple is pursuing for this project, you would see that they go way beyond a rental vehicle basic transportation model. And I'm not sure how you think it's more profitable to build the cars on Apple's own dollar and sit on a parking ramp full of vehicles that they have to clean, service and repair, for an hourly or trip-based fee. Or you could sell the cars to the public (rapid (ROI) and have them pay you a regular fee for servicing for the life of the vehicle (programmed income stream).

    While you don't lose "half the value" when you leave the dealer, yes, it does sit a fair amount. Of course the car also sits, for instance, while you're wasting a third of your life sleeping. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 37 of 52
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,804member
    Transportation as a service, if it ever takes off, is decades away from universality.  Maybe as a side piece of transportation in places like San Francisco or NYC but in general?  No. Wishful thinking. 
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 38 of 52
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,130member
    Yes, because Apple knows nothing about long term service and support. 

    In terms of cars, they actually don't.
    Indeed. I will go a step beyond and admit that Apple knows nothing about supporting an Apple product "for 40 years."  It's not about support in general but rather the duration of the support, which I believe Mr. Toyoda is saying is tied to a car maker's "commitment" to doing the right thing for consumers.  Which perhaps means Toyota might be willing to consider a partnership with Apple, if and only if Apple demonstrates a Japanese or Toyota-like flair for multi-decade support for customers who buy the Apple car.
  • Reply 39 of 52
    13485 said:
    I still think Apple will go the route of Car as a service. I really would be surprised to see them sell to individuals. That’s so 1920. Honestly. Transportation as a subscription service. You call it, it shows up. You choose the size and distance you need ETC. Cars are the single largest depreciated asset in most peoples lives. You lose half the value driving off the lot, and it sits in a garage or parking lot more than it is driven. I’d be really surprised to see Apple chase a 100 year old business model. You pay a monthly fee, maybe 3 tiers, and that gets you so many miles or so many trips and a choice of what type of vehicle you want. There is more money in that than there is in selling cars via a dealership model. They will start in the large cities and move out. It’s not going to be a car for every town.
    Absolutely will never happen--a taxi / rent-by-the-hour service? If anyone outside of San Francisco ever thought since 1920 that was a viable (read profitable) business model, it would already be everywhere. The rental car business is not exactly the most profitable in case you haven't noticed. In the US, with about 227 million licensed drivers, how long do you think it will take to get a vehicle to your house? Forgot to pick something up--or worse, someone? Good luck with that. A personal car is available instantaneously even in the middle of the night for any trip to anywhere with all your family accoutrements intact. 

    If you have paid attention to the patents Apple is pursuing for this project, you would see that they go way beyond a rental vehicle basic transportation model. And I'm not sure how you think it's more profitable to build the cars on Apple's own dollar and sit on a parking ramp full of vehicles that they have to clean, service and repair, for an hourly or trip-based fee. Or you could sell the cars to the public (rapid (ROI) and have them pay you a regular fee for servicing for the life of the vehicle (programmed income stream).

    While you don't lose "half the value" when you leave the dealer, yes, it does sit a fair amount. Of course the car also sits, for instance, while you're wasting a third of your life sleeping. 
    Because it hasn’t happened yet, does NOT imply that it can never happen. Some markets are just not ripe until some technology or innovation or change in culture has come and opened those doors. This is not to say this service would be for everyone, but if the timing is right and all the necessary requirements all intersect, then who is to say if it will or will not be profitable. I personally do not know. But I do know that Apple is all about user experience and a customized driverless transportation vehicle could be a very wonderful user experience. 
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 40 of 52
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,180member
    Self-driving cars might work on regular roads when the roads are clear and the road markings are visible, but in Canada the roads are not clear for a third of the year so it's not yet possible for self-driving cars to work here in the winter, which means cars as a service will probably never be popular here. That would be about as useful as cars powered by sails, when some days there just isn't any wind.
    M68000watto_cobra
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