Tuesday 20 March 2018

Why you just might drive an Apple one day

Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

THE prospect of Apple building its own car has been raised by recent reports.

It has been reported the company is hiring experts in automotive technology and design for a research laboratory "with the possible intention of building a car".

No less a media organ than the Wall Street Journal said the company had several hundred employees working on an electric vehicle that would be Apple-branded.

But it has to be remembered that Apple sometimes builds prototypes of products it won't ever market - to learn from and enhance its core items.

Elements such as advanced batteries and in-car electronics in an electric car would provide fertile ground for advancing products such as the iPhone and iPad, experts say.

Adding to the mystery, however, is the fact that Apple recently hired the head of Mercedes Silicon Valley research and development unit, Johann Jungwirth. Interesting.

The likes of Apple and Google are trying to incorporate their software into cars. And we have seen several manifestations of that already.

Apple only last year unveiled CarPlay. This allows you to access contacts on your iPhone, make calls or listen to voicemails without taking your hands off the wheel.

It is an understatement to say 'connectivity' is a growth area. It is positively exploding as carmakers, and communication giants, race to make vehicles more connected.

Cars with a broad sweep of software and Internet services - we're talking well outside the current 'box' of navigation and communications here - are seen as the future.

So it is no wonder Apple is going down this exploratory route.

But whether it will ever build and commercially sell an electric car is a different game of cards altogether.

Irish Independent

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