How indecision and arrogance killed the Apple car

Along with this, we have to add that from the first moment there were different car prototypes, even the presence of an ambitious category five vehicle, unique in the world that will allow “drive completely on your own using a revolutionary on-board computer, a new operating system and cloud software developed in-house”. No consolidated company within the automotive industry had come up with something similar, neither the almighty Tesla nor the Japanese and European brands. How was I going to develop a project like this with zero experience in the automotive industry?

Beyond the condition, the prototypes presented had a practically cinematic quality: a glass roof, sliding doors and white wall tires, with the aim of making people super comfortable, and with the presence of a giant television, state-of-the-art audio and windows that adjusted to the client's needs. Additionally, the seats would be similar to those on a private plane, and passengers could convert some of the seats into recliners with footrests.

The approaches presented had not even been seen in action movies, where “almost anything is possible.” The process from blueprints to manufacturing and mass production is a long journey.

The desire for revolution generated friction

The almost “arrogant” search that the car had to comply with certain practically unaffordable benefits With current technology it ended up generating great friction between the different teams within the company. Some Apple executives, including former design chief Jony Ive, pushed for a fully-fledged car. autonomoussomething no automaker has achieved yet.

Other groups of engineers looked for something more pragmatic, like what Xiaomi has presented, accepting that, in the short and medium term, Apple would be able to reach such levels of innovation and development. The problem is that friction created problems and led to something that no company can afford: time and money. In fact, the differences went down to very specific and almost surreal issues, such as the fact that the car had to be whitelike AirPods.

Bob Mansfield: what can we save

Apple CarPlay

After thousands of meetings, changes and indecisions, Bob Mansfield, a manager who did not see much hope in the results, tried to salvage everything he could from this project. He, by all means, tried to develop the autonomous driving system, since this aspect could be used in the future, and argued that this system could help Apple in the future, even if the company definitively abandoned this project. In addition, he thought that a system like this could better integrate or help Apple's AI thanks to all the advances that had been obtained.

Finally, just when it seemed like there might be something, rumors related to the Ford Motor Company began to develop. The company wanted to take the first step and Tim Cook apparently only knew how to say: “Get me more data and let me think about it.”

Apple Car Play 3

In conclusion, the 10 billion dollars that Apple has allocated in the last decade for a failed project will have a positive note: all the knowledge and registered patents will be used for the development of artificial intelligence, the great subject of the future