April 22, 2013: The world will get its first Apple car. Effectively, form of.
In actuality, the iBeetle is a collaboration with German automaker Volkswagen that gives a car “stylistically linked” to Apple. This implies Apple-inspired colours, a constructed-in docking station for your iPhone, and a particular app that allows you to management the car’s options.
The iBeetle: An iPhone on wheels? Type of.
The iBeetle debuted at the Shanghai Auto Show. On the time, the world was very excited a couple of attainable Apple car (as we proceed to be as we speak). Apple had been keen on moving into the automotive recreation since all the way back in 1980. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs appeared keen on the idea, though he died earlier than the iBeetle turned a actuality.
Sadly, the iBeetle — like a few of Apple’s different half-baked collaborations — didn’t fairly dwell as much as the hype.
It got here in a number of totally different muted exterior colours paying homage to the iPhone. These included Sweet White, Oryx White Mom of Pearl Impact, Black Monochrome, Deep Black Pearl Impact, Platinum Gray and Reflex Silver.
It additionally boasted a constructed-in iPhone dock and customized Beetle app. Options included the flexibility to stream songs from Spotify and iTunes; test lateral acceleration; monitor oil and coolant temperature gauges for the engine; and entry a compass.
A “Coach” function, in the meantime, allowed customers to match drive instances, distances and gas economic system on routes. “Postcard” allow you to ship your present location to associates, whereas “Picture” despatched photographs contained in the car to social networks. “Reader” learn new textual content messages and social media posts.
Apple car stays a dream
In the end, the world considered the iBeetle as a missed alternative. Apple clearly remained keen on automotive know-how, nonetheless. The next yr, the corporate launched an improved in-car operating system called CarPlay.
Right this moment, Cupertino is reportedly nonetheless busy engaged on an Apple car — though it’s not clear whether or not this shall be an Apple-manufactured car or an iBeetle-style advanced software framework. Nonetheless, Apple continues to spark rumors about its automotive ambitions. For instance, the corporate revealed a analysis paper in 2017 describing how neural networks can improve accuracy in lidar technology utilized in autonomous automobiles.
Apple additionally operates a fleet of self-driving automobiles, and reportedly used a former Fiat Chrysler Cars facility in Arizona to test autonomous vehicles. And the corporate reportedly needs to develop subsequent-gen lidar sensors — which assist autonomous automobiles make their means down busy streets — which are smaller, cheaper and simpler to fabricate.
Oh, and Apple needs its “revolutionary design” for lidar sensors to look higher, too. (There’s no phrase on when if ever it’ll launch, although, if ever.)
In the meantime, Apple reportedly talked with a number of potential companions for manufacturing an electrical car. And the corporate continues to pursue patents related to futuristic vehicles and poach key executives from automakers. A March 2022 rumor indicated Apple’s car staff had been “dissolved for a while” — however mentioned the corporate hoped to “achieve the goal of mass production by 2025.”
The newest Apple car rumor signifies the corporate scaled again its grand plan to supply a very self-driving car. “The corporate is now planning a less-ambitious design that can embody a steering wheel and pedals and solely help full autonomous capabilities on highways,” Bloomberg wrote in late 2022.
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