Ever since rumors about Apple car started swirling around, the incumbent automakers have been less than welcoming. Last year, former General Motors executive Bob Lutz told CNBC that Apple was entering a “gigantic money pit” and it didn’t have a fighting chance in the auto industry. However, Elon Musk of Tesla Motors last week welcomed Apple’s rumored entry into the electric vehicle market, saying the iPhone maker could make a “compelling car.”
Apple can pull it off
Now a senior Ford official says that Apple car would be a welcome move in the auto industry. In an interview with Trusted Reviews, Ford’s Executive Director for Connected Vehicles and Services Don Butler said he welcomes competition. Butler believes that both technology companies Apple and Google can pull it off. The Ford exec thinks that the industry is likely to see a number of partnerships between companies that bring different expertise to the table. They may work together to offer solutions that neither of them could have done on their own.
Apple car is rumored to be an electric vehicle with autonomous driving capabilities. The tech giant has hired more than 1,000 engineers and battery technology experts to work on its car under Project Titan. It is expected to arrive sometime in 2019. Rumors about Apple’s secret project further intensified when it secretly attended an automobile conference in November 2015. Last month, the iPhone maker registered three domain names including Apple.car.
Nvidia not fully convinced about Apple car
The Ford executive believes that the car industry will reach Level-4 autonomous driving soon. That means vehicles will be able to drive themselves in well-mapped areas without any human input. Ford is bullish on adopting new technologies. However, Nvidia executive Dave Anderson told Trusted Reviews that even for a company as sophisticated as Apple building cars would be an arduous process, involving a significant learning curve.
Apple has been tight-lipped about its automobile plans. Last month when asked about the possibility of an Apple car, Chief Executive Tim Cook told Charlie Rose of CBS 60 Minutes that Apple was more secretive than the CIA.