Don't expect the 'Apple Car' to have a steering wheel, analyst says

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2021
The fully autonomous "Apple Car" -- which will likely lack a steering wheel -- could be a major competitor to Tesla and other electric vehicle makers, Morgan Stanley automotive analysts said.

Credit: AppleInsider
Credit: AppleInsider


In a note to investors seen by AppleInsider, Morgan Stanley Auto & Shared Mobility analyst Adam Jones shared some thoughts on the implications of Apple's entry into the car market.

For one, Jones notes how high Apple's reported $3.6 billion investment is. That's "a lot of money to invest into one car factory," and Jones adds that the investment only appears to be Apple's portion.

Users who are expecting a traditional automotive experience may want to think again. "Don't expecting steering wheels," Jones said.

"We have a hard time imagining Apple entering the automotive market with a vehicle design that involves human intervention in the driving process," Jones writes. "Just our view but an Apple car with a steering wheel is like an iPhone with physical buttons and a coiled rubber cord connected to a wall. If we're right, then this could really turbocharge investor appreciation on the AV timeline."

The Apple Car does represent a major rival to Tesla, the analyst added. Although the established electric carmaker may unveil dozens of new vehicles before Apple makes it to market, Jones says that "at some point, today's EV players must share the sandbox."

He adds that there may not be room for every electric vehicle manufacturer at the top. Jones expects the Apple news to accelerate special purpose acquisition companies are carve-out or spinoff activity among new and established players in the market.

Jones maintains a forecast of 31% electric vehicle penetration by 2030, but he also reiterates that this prediction doesn't account for Apple's own car.

"Would Apple enter this market for a 2 to 5% share of wallet? Or a 25 to 30% share of wallet?" Jones writes.

In a previous research note, Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty wrote that applying current market share figures to the EV market forecasts is "likely to vastly underestimate the size of Apple's car business in the future."

Huberty maintains her 12-month AAPL price target of $164. It's based on a sum-of-the-parts model with a 6x enterprise value-to-sales (EV/Sales) multiple on Apple's product business and a 13.1x EV/Sales multiple on Services. That results in an implied 7.5x target 2022 EV/Sales multiple and a 34x target enterprise-value to free-cash-flow multiple.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    DoomFreakDoomFreak Posts: 19unconfirmed, member
    I would not want this car, personally.  I see it as a huge liability.
    longpathcgWerks
  • Reply 2 of 44
    There will not be cars without steering wheels for a very long time. The technology is not close to making this a reasonable option.
    larryjwkkqd1337chadbagJWSClongpathramanpfaffwelshdogcgWerks
  • Reply 3 of 44
    A track pad? For track mode? Definitely not a stylus, anyway. 
  • Reply 4 of 44
    Millions of people will say 'pass' on this car if this is the case.
    There are many Tier 1 countries that are a long, long, long way from making this legal.
    I'd love to know how small manoeuvres could be made without controls.
    Think about driving onto a Ferry. The last thing you want to hear is...
    "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that." when the crew want you to squeeze up a few inches and the automation 'says no!'.


    entropysJWSClongpathbyronlramanpfaff
  • Reply 5 of 44
    bill42bill42 Posts: 130member
    There will not be cars without steering wheels for a very long time. The technology is not close to making this a reasonable option.
    OK, how about a "yoke" instead?  :-D
  • Reply 6 of 44
    bill42bill42 Posts: 130member
    You guys are all missing the point I think.

    Of course the $50,000 Apple Car won't come with a steering wheel. To use it, you will have to buy the separate Apple Steering Wheel for $27,999. 
    Yes, that is expensive, but wait until you see how the solid aluminum wheel was forged out of a giant disk of solid metal, before the rare white walnut inlays were set in place!
    ravnorodomsdw2001chemengin1muthuk_vanalingamchadbagmarklarkrmusikantowJWSCavon b7byronl
  • Reply 7 of 44
    Removable steering wheel perhaps? Or dummy inflatable one
    edited February 2021 chadbag
  • Reply 8 of 44
    It’s Apple. Steering wheel and gas pedal are extra. It’s like buying a Mac mini. You can start the engine but you are going no where.  
    edited February 2021 chemengin1muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 44
    First the headphone jack, now this!
    sdw2001JWSC
  • Reply 10 of 44
    Whatever it will be, it will be stunning. After introducing the first fully operational autonomous EV without a steering wheel, people will be writing, “Apple wasn’t the first to remove a steering wheel,” or What’s the big deal with an autonomous car, they have been around for years?” etc.
    edited February 2021 tmayqwerty52byronlwatto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 11 of 44
    Whatever it will be, it will be stunning. After introducing the first fully operational autonomous EV without a steering wheel, people will be writing, “Apple wasn’t the first to remove a steering wheel,” or What’s the big deal with an autonomous car, they have been around for years?” etc.

    Yes, and all the rest of the  car manufacturers are going first to mocking Apple about missing steering wheel, before they do the same a few months later.
    watto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 12 of 44
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,873member
    There will not be cars without steering wheels for a very long time. The technology is not close to making this a reasonable option.
    Depending on your definition of "very long time" and "not close," I agree.  Two links:  

    https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a15079828/autonomous-self-driving-car-levels-car-levels/

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkoetsier/2020/07/09/elon-musk-tesla-will-have-level-5-self-driving-cars-this-year/?sh=b459abc2d1d6

    So technology-wise, we are basically at level 4.  In the mainstream market (say, sub-$45K), most cars are at level 1 or 2.  Some, like Tesla, are at level 3. We are not far from premium brands being able to deploy level 4.  How long that takes to go mainstream is a question.  I can say that as someone who buys cars frequently (in my family, probably every 2-3 years between us), my 2019 Kia is the first with any automation whatsoever (lane assist).  The car I had before that...a 2015 upper level Hyundai sedan, had nothing.  

    My best guess is we are a good 10 years away from level 5 autonomous vehicles being somewhat mainstream.  We're probably 20+ years away from the majority of vehicles being level 5.  

    rmusikantowbyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 44
    dk49dk49 Posts: 213member
    Technical and legal challenges aside, a car without a steering wheel will be a bit boring for many people like me who enjoy driving. While I am all for autonomous driving, and I think it's really cool, I wouldn't want to use it all the time. Sometimes you just want to enjoy the pleasure of driving. It gives you a sense of excitement and adrenaline rush. Though I am sure there will be enough items in the Apple car to keep me entertained and busy, but I would still like to have the option to drive it sometimes. 
    muthuk_vanalingamJWSCbyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 44
    I’m waiting ‘til version 2.0: no wheels
    muthuk_vanalingamravnorodommarklarkGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 44
    I know the picture of the Apple car is just a mockup but why would it need rear view mirrors.
    watto_cobramizhou
  • Reply 16 of 44
    But is the car even going to be sold to the public or is it going to be for an Apple car service?

    Many may not want to buy a car without a steering wheel, but many may be happy to rely on a service car that arrives when they need it and gets them to where they want to go via the fastest route and in a vehicle that is like a mini limo, where the occupants can sit facing each other.  

    No more repair/running costs.  No more worries about drink/drug driving. No worries about needing a garage or car park.  No more worries about car insurance.
    Hyperealityfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 44
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,766member
    it's ok to drive a vehicle without steering wheel on the open surface of Mars or Moon but not on earth. I need my control over car.
  • Reply 18 of 44
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 427member
    It looks like this might be a neighborhood robotaxi to take you from the train or bus station to your house (last mile of commuting).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 44
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,294member
    You will be able to steer the car with an Apple TV remote. 
    chadbagrmusikantowJWSCGeorgeBMacbyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 44
    bill42 said:
    There will not be cars without steering wheels for a very long time. The technology is not close to making this a reasonable option.
    OK, how about a "yoke" instead?  :-D
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/33/Atari-2600-Joystick.jpg
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