Motor Trend has focused on Apple’s Project Titan for its June issue, and published an “Apple Car” concept rendering online.
The long-running automotive magazine has published a round-up of rumors and speculation on Apple’s ambitions in the sector, and invited a number of experts to discuss what effect Apple could have on the industry as a whole..
Future vehicles could be autonomous
The Motor Trend report was written by testing director Kim Reynolds, and floats a number of ideas about what Apple could and should bring to the automotive industry. The tech giant has a chance to disrupt traditional players in the heavy industry.
Motor Trend asked former General Motors executives Larry Burns and Chris Borroni-Bird for their opinion on a potential Apple car. Burns, who used to be vice president of research and development and head of strategic planning at General Motors, says that Apple is likely to come out with a cutting edge design.
This is hardly surprising given the history of the company, but interestingly Burns sees a strong future for autonomous vehicles. He claims that Apple could develop a vehicle that can be used as a ride share for multiple passengers while also being attractive enough for drivers to use as a personal vehicle.
Car-buying habits set to evolve with Apple Car
Borroni-Bird, who is Qualcomm VP of strategic development and former General Motors director of advanced technology vehicle concepts, took the idea of autonomous vehicles further. He thinks that software will be increasingly important, and could influence the way that we buy cars.
Borroni-Bird thinks that cybersecurity concerns and obsolete hardware could make the underlying technology in future cars become obsolete more quickly. As a result he claims that people could increasingly opt for auto leases rather than buying cars outright.
The Apple Car remains shrouded in secrecy, but that did not stop Motor Trends from having a go at imagining what it might look like. With the input of The ArtCenter College of Design and Garrett DeBry, Motor Trends thought up a minimalist mono-space vehicle shell on an electric drive chassis. It fits well with what we know, and think we know, about the future Apple car.
Augmented reality boosts user experience
Inside the car the interior is imagined to provide the best possible user experience. An augmented reality infotainment system overlays virtual display elements on the dashboard and windshield using laser projection. Siri can be used for navigation and also suggests when the driver might want to stop for a break.
The digital personal assistant could use data from apps such as Health in order to recommend a healthy lunch, and point out a suitable restaurant on the windshield.
Motor Trend has more details in its story but the main idea is that the Apple Car should pack in enough technology to be a standalone device. The vehicle should offer a revolutionary driving and passenger experience.
After imagining the concept, Motor Trend invited experts to weigh in on how realistic it was. Editor-in-Chief Ed Loh moderated the six-member panel, which included Reynolds, DeBry and Tim Huntzinger, an ArtCenter professor of graduate transportation systems who took part in the design process. CNET Roadshow head Tim Stevens and AppleInsider’s Mikey Campbell offered commentary on the tech angle.
Very little is known about the Apple Car at this stage, but it appears that the company continues to work on the vehicle.