Here’s the surprise of the century. Apple’s rumored electric Tesla competitor, which has gained steam over the past few days, is going to be autonomous. That’s the plan at least. In addition to a car, though, Reuters reports Apple is putting resources into creating a software platform that will run inside the cars of tomorrow.
Sources close to Apple’s plans claim the company is less focused on manufacturing cars—a la Tesla—and more focused on developing a platform designed to one-up other high-profile car projects. Many big automakers are investigating the merits of autonomous cars, while Google is developing its own technology to tackle the utopian self-driving dream.
“It’s a software game,” Reuters said. “It’s all about autonomous driving.”
Apple has reportedly enlisted a ton of folks with experience in the automotive industry, with sources saying the project is a once in a lifetime opportunity. In typical Apple style, the company is casually seeking advice from experts, but has decided to largely go at it alone. Yesterday’s report from the WSJ said Apple has appointed former Ford engineer Steve Zadesky to lead the project.
One thing in particular Apple has identified in regards to software, according to Reuters, are the services usually associated with self-driving technology, including high-definition mapping, car-sharing, and electric car recharging services. So basically an entire ecosystem for your car, pretty much in line what we have for phones, TVs, computers, etc.
The world of self-driving technology is still a distant promise, but many companies have taken major steps toward making it a reality. It sounds like Apple doesn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to explore its own solution. Whether that’ll entail a full-blown minivan, or even an entire fleet of cars, remains to be seen.