Apple iCar - Part II Chances & Consequences

While in Trollhättan the development slides into the unknown, another Swedish manufacturer is testing the future. We remain true to the topic Apple iCar, look in the continuation of the article from Wednesday to Gothenburg.

iCar and PowerBook G4
iCar and PowerBook G4

Volvo gave a press conference on autonomous driving a few weeks ago. Exciting, and of course I got involved. Autonomous driving is a big topic, at first glance it is impressive what the Swedes have put on their wheels. At second glance, the euphoria is put into perspective.

The situation: the systems work on the city ring in Gothenburg. The road is multi-lane, the oncoming traffic separated by a Mittelleitplanke- so it likes colleague computer in the Volvo. Without separation, without multiple lanes, autonomous driving does not (yet) work. Also in snow, in poor visibility. If the sensors can no longer detect the lane markings, the system switches off. Man has to take over.

Navigation through narrow inner cities is also not (yet) possible for the Gothenburgers. Dangerous situations that suddenly appear have yet to be learned ... says Volvo. That should happen until 2017 - in order to be where the software industry is today.

Google is already sending its vehicles through downtown California - and it works. Why?

Because Google and Apple have resources and server capacity that you can only dream of in Gothenburg and elsewhere. The advantage in the field of infrastructure, the experience in the operation of data centers is hard to catch up.

The exciting question: where will Google and Apple be in 2017 with their dynamic development and almost unlimited resources? Where the vehicle industry 1.0?

Who actually builds the iCar?

It is unlikely that Apple could indulge in its own production. As with the other products, they will be built where they understand something.

Two rumors are circulating. A Bavarian radio station announced that BMW could build the iCar, and it could be based on a further development of the i3. Another source, picked up by Swedish media, sees Volvo as a partner. The unused capacities in China could thus be better utilized.

The likelihood that Apple will trust BMW is higher than the possibility that Volvo will partner with the Californians. BMW has already proven its expertise in new materials and alternative drives with the i3 and i8.

There is another alternative. An empty factory in Trollhatten, a company that would like to work as a contract manufacturer.

Chances for the design

A computer is a box, is a box. No more. Therefore difficult to design. Apple Lisa and Macintosh set standards, as did Power Macs. In 2001 Apple presented the Powerbook G4 ... the first Mac notebook with a metal housing. A principle that has remained true to this day. My powerbooks have a tough life and accompany me everywhere. When I take them out of service, they have seen many kilometers on planes, cars, trains and many countries. They then usually go to a new owner who continues to use them.

Apple delivers good design as well as high functionality. If Apple builds a car, you should expect high expectations. The iCar will not be a playful, driving egg like Google. But a valuable, functional multitool. A technically undercooled product, a Saab 9000 transformed into the present.

Just as Cupertino made the leap from plastic housing to metal in 2001, new materials could shape the interior. There are many ideas, as well as templates. Fisker used environmentally safe materials. Open-pored dead wood, natural leather. On request, the interior (vegan!) Could be configured free of material of animal origin. A southern German manufacturer copied some Fisker ideas for its electric car and was praised by the media for so much creativity.

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Tesla took a 19 ″ screen and turned it upright. Cheeky and at the same time simple idea; no one has dared to do this before. Saab worked with glass elements in the interior for the 9-4x Concept and Aero X. Some of so much outrageous coolness almost flowed into the series, but failed because of the circumstances. Something similar can be expected from Apple, the undercooled tech brand.

The consequences…

Once the iCar has arrived in reality, it will change life in the metropolitan areas. Driving will not be as it was. The last refuge is conquered, man always and everywhere reachable. The interaction can no longer escape, companies will love the rolling consumer.

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At the same time, driving is dramatically safer. Vehicles communicate with each other, warn each other, accidents fall drastically. Traffic jams can be avoided, traffic flows can be steered intelligently. A gigantic infrastructure in the background will keep vehicles and flood of data going, with all the risks and dependencies.

And there are new opportunities. For people who are restricted in their mobility, new possibilities for maintaining their autonomy open up.

At the same time, there are many unanswered questions: who will reliably maintain the rolling computer? Who do the updates and patches? Who will make sure that the iCar and its passengers are not hacked? Anyone who owns an iPhone has a rough idea of ​​what attention an iCar might require.

Whether the journey into the future like, whether you pay the price, everyone will have to decide for themselves.

Die rebellen

One thing is foreseeable: a countermovement will establish itself. There will always be people who see driving as a pleasure, as a hobby, or as a haven of human autonomy.

Rebels don't want car sharing 2.0 or a rolling computer. No paternalism, no excessive caring. You don't want to see the car as a throwaway product just because the latest OSX isn't running on the old platform.

The end of the article. Switch off!
The end of the article. Switch off!

These annoying individualists will be looking for the old, analog cars. The somewhere in the countryside, far from the metropolises, have survived by collectors and Consumption objectors. They will love an old Saab, they will want to take the wheel in their own hands. The consequence:

Ren glädje! Analog driving, controlled by a human being ...

19 thoughts on "Apple iCar - Part II Chances & Consequences"

  • blank

    To all who want to rebel and get a largely electronics-free car, at the latest when autonomous driving has somehow prevailed and is regulated, the drivers of old vehicles are obliged to clamp a device behind the windshield that transmits the position and distances to the other road users and the driven route straight to the tax office ... .. just don't give too much hope that we can get away with a 901 or 9k!

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      Right now and from there on I go on foot or by bicycle. Without electric motor. Point.

  • blank

    Exciting thoughts on the future of movement on the roads! On the 45 km to work driving, even in the Saab, makes only very limited fun, that would be a field, because you could be completely mobile, 90% is limited to the distance to the anticipated to regulate a reasonable level. Today's car industry gives me the impression of having perfected existing technology very far, then there is often a change with completely new technologies. Because of the significantly longer life of cars not quite as fast as computers, but it will come. If Google and Apple with lots of money and people to develop ideas will eventually come to the application, whether there or in classic car makers without not-invented-here syndrome will put out.
    The Saab for the weekend and otherwise the car-mobile? From time to time I also enjoy analog film.
    Exciting will be how the mix of iCars and conventional vehicles works.

    • blank

      Not at all, it's the same as the paperless office;)

  • blank

    and is probably interesting. also that for decades on space missions, laptop computers from another renowned manufacturer have always found their way into space - no, not nicer, but technically better. They also think in Saab terms: form follows function!

  • blank

    Looking at the future reminds me of my collection of “Hobby. The magazine of technology ”. Especially in the 60s there were articles that conveyed a one-sided belief in the future.

    Realistically, autonomous driving today does not fail because of the possibilities that are technically feasible, but because of the legal hurdles.

    Where an Apple car is cobbled together, it should also be clear, namely, where the workers have no rights and are gekeichtet for the famous apple, but without an egg, so that the overpriced final product corresponding profits.

    Previously, Apple products were indispensable because superior.

    I made my start in the digital world.

    Today, it is just overpriced and does not offer any better benefits, except one needs for the ailing ego.

    • blank

      "Today, it is just overpriced and offers no better use, unless you need it for the ailing ego."

      You can see it like that, but you don't have to. I think of it like this: all computers with Windows systems, as better for work (in my opinion). However, there are also people who place more value on the quality of workmanship and operation of some products. For this reason, I've only had iPhones so far. You can always rely on them, they are good and valuable in the hand and are easy to use. No other smartphone currently offers me this kind of satisfaction. In addition, the advertising decline is not as strong as with Samsung smartphones. Everybody as he wishes…

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        WIN computers / laptops can also be of good quality and easily beat Apple products with them. But you won't find them in the relevant electrical supermarkets for “greed is cool” prices.
        Quality has nothing to do with the operating system.
        I think that also means sesi and I have been using it for years. This manufacturer is more comparable to SAAB in terms of durability, thoughtful features and distribution.

        Albert is right, we certainly need not hope that Apple will ever produce in a high-wage country.

        • blank

          Everyone has a different quality concept, that's okay too. Do not think that Samsung, Sony, HP, Acer, Asus, Toshiba produce in high-wage countries. Why then the criticism with Apple?

          • blank

            Nah, I do not think that of those one produces expensive, of which I did not mean any.
            My criticism is directed against the arrogance of the group and many of its users (disciples), who always mean to show individuality and quality, a kind of status symbol.
            It is simply an overpriced mass product.
            The associated data octopus - as described in the articles - rather scares me off.

    • blank

      I agree!

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    My conclusion: If it allows the petty cash 😉, I'll buy myself to prepare for the future two or three other Saabs to my convertible. A station wagon, a new 95er and possibly also a newer convertible with fewer kilometers.

  • blank

    I know it
    exhausted and exhausted, I let myself fall into the best seats of my "... car" on Friday evening and THINK to myself, it would be nice to be able to enjoy the sunrise with a cappucino tomorrow morning in the park of Miramare .. .But waiting at home Work, this and that; the garden also wants to be cleaned, etc., etc.
    Guys, you must believe me now! I really got into Miramare. My smart always_dabei_Gerät showed me just on the screen, as the Scarifier back to its charging station.
    when the aroma of coffee rose to my nose.
    I know, we'll get used to a lot.
    Brothers Grimm looks down.
    I go today still unchached in the woods.

  • blank

    Then I already belong to the rebels!

  • blank

    The last paragraph I like best.

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    For me, however, there is one fact that speaks against the vacant factory in Trollhättan. For example, NEVS has no core competencies compared to BMW. You tried to do everything a little, but nothing was outstanding. Apple has had its products manufactured by “contract manufacturer” Foxconn in China for years. Accordingly, I can hardly imagine that Apple intends to build / buy and operate its own factory. So the search is probably going in the direction of a contract manufacturer WITH experience and certain skills.

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      You're right in theory. But: This NEVS company will / must change if it survives at all. The new owners / partners / cooperation partners will give the company a different direction. One should not base one's opinion on the current status. The decision to cut the debt is made on Monday; NEVS plans to leave the reconstruction when it becomes legally effective. Shortly afterwards, the new partners will be announced.

  • blank

    Again a horny article and much more interesting than any SOFI. Cool guy 🙂

  • blank

    Sounds to me like the story behind the musical “We will Rock you” transferred from the music to the car. I can't imagine sitting in such a rolling computer. As in a musical, the rebels will win.

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