Random thoughts on Apple Car, part seven

»If Apple can successfully turn the car into a different kind of machine – one with cameras and sensors combined with a completely rethought interior, there would be dislocation not from the point of view of autonomous driving or car ownership models, but auto production.«
Neil Cybart, Above Avalon

Neil has been discussing Apple car for over a year now, starting with „Apple Wants to Design a Car as Ambition Knows No Bounds“ a year ago, and „Standing on Tesla’s Shoulders“ one year later.

In parallel, the unbelievable Jalopnik had a surprisingly thoughtful story on what Apple could draw inspiration from:

The 1957 Fiat Multipla was apparently bought by a ghost company belonging to Apple, and embodies the conceptual dream of an all-in-one car that was designed for its passengers and not aerodynamics or virtual performance.

Compare the idea of an all-in-one to the original iMac. The maxime there was simplicity. A computer that nobody should be afraid of using.

Simplicity may also be key for future automobiles, as they become more like robots: self-driving, auto-updating machines that talk to you.

Google knew that a self-driving car had to be friendly:

Tesla, however, is into robots and updated Model S to be self-driver over night.

Both Google and Tesla still think of a car as an aerodynamic vehicle, that drives in a certain direction (thus all passengers must also sit and look in that direction), and that offers certain exterior and interior styling that you choose at the moment of buying.

Now, I think it’s possible that all of the statements in the paragraph above will be different for the Apple car: It may not be aerodynamic as we’re used to in cars, it may not have driving-direction seating, and the interior will also change depending on who’s driving the car (legacy automakers still lack personalization at an amazing rate).

Here may be more design inspiration for the car:

San Francisco’s cable cars – a classic hop-on / hop-off design

Apple’s own retail stores – lately the one in Belgium designed by Jony Ive himself, with interior trees

The Istanbul, Turkey store has a ceiling unseen before.

The original iMac with its friendly face is a key exhibit of simplified Apple technology.

In sum, I agree with Neil on that one:

Begin […] to think of a car as a smart room on wheels […].

Previously published on Medium