The future of the automobile as we know it is uncertain. Times are changing and so are the cars we drive it seems. The days of the combustion engine are numbered, and it’s only a matter of time before all cars become electric. Not only that, but it’s almost a given that we won’t be driving ourselves in the not-so-distant future. Cars will be fully autonomous, requiring you only for destination inputs.
Before we get to that level of self-driving cars however, we have to go through a few step-up processes. Processes like hybrid transitions and only partly-autonomous driving vehicles. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’ll know that Tesla is at the front of this movement. Their cars are completely electric and are almost able to fully drive themselves. Rather unsurprisingly, Apple, being one of the largest manufacturers in the world, is trying to break into this market.
If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Cars are becoming less and less mechanical and more digital by the day. The sheer amount of gadgets, features and electronics onboard make them more of a laptop than a car nowadays. You take it to a service and it gets attached to a laptop in order to get fixed, rather than having a mechanic go below it and do some work manually with wrenches and screwdrivers.
The truth is that Apple has been trying to develop a self-driving car for a few years now, but they’ve been less than successful. To develop what will still basically be a drivable car, you need people from the automotive sector. A bunch of geeks who know everything there is to know about computers might be good at finalizing the car, but they need a functional shell with wheels, interior and a structure to be able to finish their work. Small wonder that the original Apple car never caught on then. For starters, it looked nothing like a car anyone would ever consider owning. Plus, the driving characteristics seemed to be less than acceptable.
Recent rumors suggest that Apple has been negotiating with McLaren to either invest in the company or buy it off completely, but neither of the companies has confirmed these allegations. In fact, they both denied it, but it’s not uncommon for companies to deny rumors until they actually release an official statement. It would make sense however. If Apple wants to create an automobile, they need the best manufacturer out there. And what better car maker than McLaren, a company which has won 12 F1 titles, is the second oldest manufacturer in F1 after Ferrari and has won hundreds of GT races.
The main question everyone’s asking is why hasn’t Apple contacted Tesla rather than McLaren, and in all honesty, who’s to say they haven’t? For all we know the McLaren deal might just be a cover. Or, Tesla simply isn’t interested in Apple (and vice versa). We all know Elon Musk isn’t the sort of guy who’s ready to follow someone else’s vision. He has his own vision and he’s sticking to it.
What does this mean then? Well, Apple isn’t going to back down from the automotive segment. It’s a segment that’s only rising in popularity, especially with the way things are moving forwards. We’ll have to wait for official statements, so keep an eye on this segment for more updates.