New Video of Apple's Self-Driving Car Shows Its Rivals Are Leading the Race
Back when Henry Ford first debuted his automobile creation, there wasn't a lot of competition on the market.
This certainly won't be the case for self-driving cars - a seemingly endless number of companies have thrown their hats into the ring, eager to create a viable commercial product out of this burgeoning new technology.
One such company is Apple, the makers of incredibly stylish, user-friendly electronics. On paper, this seems like a smart idea for the company; self-driving cars seem to fit perfectly with their standard business practice of creating intuitive tech with a gentle learning curve that prevents the user from needing extensive lessons before they can get the most out of a device.
That said, not much has actually been seen of Apple's self-driving car thus far. With other companies, most notably Tesla, already drawing near to a self-driving car roll-out, Apple seems oddly quiet about its future plans.
Going to need more than 140 characters to go over ?'s Project Titan. I call it "The Thing" pic.twitter.com/sLDJd7iYSa— MacCallister Higgins (@macjshiggins) October 17, 2017
Finally, Apple's self-driving car prototype car has been spotted in the wild, and it's certainly very interesting. It seems that Apple still has quite a long way to go before this thing will be ready for commercial sale.
It's worth noting that this is far from a confirmed, genuine Apple product. A video of this prototype car, informally titled "The Thing" as part of Apple's Project Titan, comes from MacAllister Higgins, the co-founder of an autonomous taxi company who may well have dealings with Apple in some way.
It helps that an unconnected source has also taken a photo of the car, which has been shared on Twitter as well.
I saw one of these a few weeks ago pull up to an Apple shuttle stop-sit there for a few then drove off. pic.twitter.com/gUudZY1TIA— idiggapple (@idiggapple) October 18, 2017
While a lot of work has clearly gone into this self-driving prototype, if this is a genuine Apple work-in-progress, it's certainly behind the times.
Big, cumbersome rooftop set-ups like this are useful for housing the many Lidar scanners necessary to keep a car safely on the road, but many companies involved in the autonomous vehicle tech race have already made huge progress in shrinking such tech into a smaller, more compact unit. The size and shape of Apple's self-driving car, not to mention the company's relative silence, suggests that Project Titan is still a long way from completion.
Then again, silence is kind of Apple's thing. It's become a long-running joke among the smartphone community that Apple's iPhone range is several years behind other devices from a technological standpoint. In truth, Apple, unlike Tesla or any of the other contenders looking to make a name in the self-driving car market, doesn't need to rush.
With a stylish final package, plus the Apple seal of approval that guarantees the car is reliable, safe, hacker-resistant and incredibly user-friendly, Project Titan could well succeed on brand recognition alone, even if it is fashionably late to the self-driving party.
While nobody should expect to see much more of Apple's self-driving car in the immediate future, once this thing is ready to launch, everybody is going to want one.