February 17, 2015
From iPhones and iPads to self-driving electric cars?
According to a source within the auto industry, Apple is currently in talks with automotive manufacturers and suppliers.
The tech titan is apparently looking into how to make an entire vehicle, rather than simply making automotive software or individual components, a senior auto industry source told Reuters.
“They don’t appear to want a lot of help from carmakers,” the source said, adding the Cupertino company is, instead, wanting advice on parts and production methods.
The focus, the source said, is on electric and connected-car technologies, but Apple will also be examining the automated driving.
“Carmakers will slowly build the market for autonomous cars by first releasing connected and partially automated cars,” the source told Reuters. “Apple is interested in all the potential ways you can evolve the car; that includes autonomous driving.”
What is not known, as yet, is if Apple will build an electric car like those offered by Tesla Motors or a self-driving car like its chief rival Google.
Apple has declined to comment on “rumors or speculation,” but if it does decide to take on Google, it has a lot of catching up to do.
Google is predicting its self-driving cars will be on U.S. highways by 2020.
Google unveiled its finished prototype of its self-driving car in December — the first fully-functional self-driving vehicle to be put out by the technology firm. Software and sensors take the place of human abilities and it has been designed to take riders where they want to go at the push of a button.
Google, apparently, is in talks with several of the top automakers — General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Daimler and Volkswagon — about partnering on the project.
Google’s self-driving car project director Chris Urmson told Reuters last month it is not yet known if Google will build its own self-driving vehicles or act as a systems and software provider to vehicle manufacturers.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.