Apple and auto enthusiasts have been following the news of a potential iCar for a few years now. There has been no official word from the tech giant about a possible production or testing, but industrial analysts are of the view that considering Apple’s latest moves, we could see the new wheeled car in a few years time, possibly as early as 2019. What did Apple do recently that made them consider this possible release date? Let’s take a look.
Apple currently employs a six hundred strong workforce in its car program. After detailed meeting with officials in California regarding the regulations, Apple will shortly be tripling the number of employees and among them will be some amazing veterans of the automotive industry. Does this appear to be going somewhere? Yeah, I thought so, too! Apple has always considered a gap in the market for a high-end smart luxury car that can fully harness the technology we are living with nowadays and not just the outdated stuff auto companies come up with in most models. Apple wants to incorporate its excellence in developing batteries, sensors and hardware-software integration into cars and make it a competitive edge over other automakers.
But, it will be very difficult to adopt the contract manufacturing model of iPhones into the automotive industry as most of the larger automakers have their own factories and make most of their parts themselves or through their allied companies. Apple, however, has relied mostly on contracts outsourced to Asian countries where manufacturing industry is booming. The automotive industry is such that this model will be extremely difficult to apply, and maybe Apple will have to bend its knees to the rules of the trade and make huge assembly lines and everything. Recently Apple officials visited the Go Mentum Station, a 5,000-acre former Naval facility weapons facility, which is now a test facility for autonomous vehicles. It is obvious what the company is trying to do here and maybe they are close to testing their secret car? We will find out about it soon enough. Also lying in the hurdles will be the regulatory rules of the government even if Apple is successfully able to negotiate a design. But, don’t lose hope as Apple is a global force to be reckoned with, and it has considerable influence in the corporate world.
Also, the target set by the company is rather ambitious considering the nature of the electric cars market right now. Although several delightful models have been introduced that have enthralled the buyers and emission activists at the same time, their exorbitant price tags mean that they have only received a lukewarm response from the government. Apple’s car will surely be quite expensive and might cost even more than Tesla Model S itself. Here is the current sales figures of the auto companies and their electric models:
Updated LinkedIn accounts of recent hires of Apple includes Chassis engineers and even ergonomics ones, so it seems that the iCar and its potential launch is drawing ever near.