Some of the high-profile hires, however, are experts in deep learning and artificial intelligence. What about hiring people who know how to make a car accelerate and brake? The answer may offer another clue into Apple’s auto strategy, according to Sarah Pilewski, a principal at data platform Quid.
“Apple is perfecting the car’s user experience first and the other aspects will come later.”
“It shows [Apple’s] priorities,” Pilewski said during the C3 panel. “Apple is perfecting the car’s user experience first and the other aspects will come later or be outsourced.”
Similarly, when Apple was developing the Apple Watch, it first hired medical and sleep experts and people who knew about machine learning and sensors. Of course, putting together a moving vehicle, not even an autonomous one, is more complicated than a wrist accessory. But based on the hires, it is an interesting observation that Apple is choosing to focus first on how the iCar will interact with the driver.
Why the Apple Car will be unlike any other
If Project Titan prevails, Apple will be the first computer company to launch a car, and according to the C3 panelists, that will be a major breakthrough.
Even if it’s not self-driving, the Apple Car will be like no other car on the market based solely on the fact that it will be another part of Apple’s expanding ecosystem. According to Suh, the Apple Car will most likely be seamlessly linked to your iPhone, your Mac, your iPad, and your Apple Watch. Not only that, but it will also be connected to everything stored on those devices, like your music, messages, contacts, and calendars.
“If Apple decided today to make your iPhone you car key, it could do that very easily. No other company in the world could do that.”
“If Apple decided today to make your iPhone you car key, it could do that very easily,” Suh said. “No other company in the world could do that.” He’s right: we don’t see BMW launching a smartphone anytime soon, or Samsung getting into the car business.
Furthermore, Suh speculates that the Apple Car will combine Cupertino’s expertise in design, batteries, tactile interfaces, sensor technology, mapping, navigation and hardware-software integration.
“It will be an immersive experience where for the first time the Internet will move with you,” he said. “You will be moving through the Internet as you move through space.”
Lastly, Pilewski thinks that Apple could also disrupt the car-buying experience. What would an Apple Car dealership look like? This is especially interesting considering how young people are owning fewer cars. Some millennials are opting out of getting a driver’s license altogether, according to Pilewski.
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