View Full Version : Apple is really getting to roll its iCar!

March 27th, 2015, 12:06 PM
My manager just recently announced that he's leaving the aerospace industry to work for Apple. He said Apple didn't really tell him what he'll be working on, but considering he also have some working experiences with GM, surely Apple didn't poach him to develop the next iPlane.

Another colleague of my also mentioned that he has a friend working at SpaceX left for Apple under similar shroud of secrecy! That guy also had some automotive experiences in the past as well.

So Apple is poaching not only folks with auto experiences, but also other broader hi tech experiences...

I guess they have the money to develop their next car. Just that if I were apple, I'd probably just buy out my competition(Tesla) and then possibly even buy my next possible new visionary CEO along the process... ;)

Anyway, let's see how Apple can continue to think different with Jobs.

March 30th, 2015, 07:53 AM
Apple is expanding. The new Mothership building is huge. Got drive around it yesterday and damn it's big.
Lots of talk of a car being part of their plans, but it will be a tricky market tot get into.
I'd guess aiming at semi-autonomous driving would be a big enough change that it's not even going against Tesla.
But we have to see what Google would do, especially if they pair up with an existing manufacturer (or several)

March 30th, 2015, 08:37 AM
The good news is that as Google and Apple work with the government to explicitly legalize autonomous automobiles, they are writing manufacturer immunities into the law. So when you're iCar crashes and then you crash, Apple has no liability. :up:

March 30th, 2015, 09:20 AM
Yeah, DN, saw your nerdy photo taken on One Infinity Loop! :p

Anyway, interesting development, but whatever happens, I'm sure most of the folks here probably won't be very excited about it because there's no way iCar can ever be a real driver's car...

March 30th, 2015, 09:33 AM
I'd definitely be interested in a self driving car. I don't want to be deprived on a thrash up the mountain, but I have no interest in commuting.

March 30th, 2015, 09:46 AM
Here-here! :up:

March 30th, 2015, 03:57 PM
I'd definitely be interested in a self driving car. I don't want to be deprived on a thrash up the mountain, but I have no interest in commuting.

Hell yes. Now that I've got an hour commute each way, I'd happily let a robot drive me. As little as I mind the drive itself (nearly all 75 mph speed limit highway), I would love to be able to actually get something done, or at least have the option to do so.

MR2 Fan
March 30th, 2015, 04:19 PM
How are they going to make a car that doesn't have windows? *Ba-dum-tiss*

Sad, little man
March 30th, 2015, 04:22 PM
Probably some externally mounted cameras and several screens positioned around the interior at eye level.

March 30th, 2015, 04:27 PM

March 30th, 2015, 05:26 PM
I think the net result will be Apple buying Tesla.

I'm not really sure I support manufacturer immunity from liability. Why should I be liable if my self-driving car plows into something?

Sad, little man
March 30th, 2015, 06:08 PM
Oh I got it... :random:

Sad, little man
March 30th, 2015, 07:08 PM
Anyway, I just don't see Apple making cars. Contributing a large part to a car, integrating their technology into existing cars, sure. But, I just don't see them producing whole cars. What's the motivation to enter into that massively complex market when you've already become the world's largest company by hocking cheap gizmos made in China to people at massive markups?

March 30th, 2015, 07:16 PM
I think the net result will be Apple buying Tesla.

I'm not really sure I support manufacturer immunity from liability. Why should I be liable if my self-driving car plows into something?

A "merger of equals?" ;)

Nobody should support manufacturer immunity from liability unless they are giving the product away. If Apple wants to develop something and give it to humanity for the betterment of all I'm willing to cut them some slack. If money is changing hands, obligations are created.

March 30th, 2015, 09:52 PM
Oh I got it... :random:


March 31st, 2015, 01:24 AM
When a google car and an apple car crash into one another. It should be simple to come up with a play by play of what happened. Was it not enough sensors to detect the other car? Was it some sort of flaw in its algorithm? Was it failure of some sort? Whatever the reason, it shouldn't be the passengers' fault. Which ever car has the inferior system... then it'll be responsible for the crash and hopefully the accident can offer the manufacturers some lessons learned and avoid future similar accidents.

If insurance company's afraid to insure it... and if the manufacturers are afraid to assume liability, then self driving car just won't take off then... I can understand we owners buy insurance to protect from theft or vandalism, but why should we be 'liable' for its crashes? Why should we owners end up with higher premiums because our self driving cars crashed into somebody else? Just like 'driving', liability should also be taken out of our hands.

March 31st, 2015, 06:21 AM
The argument will be that the person in the driver's seat of the vehicle should be monitoring what's happening at all times and ready to take control when any sort of incident is imminent. Therefore the liability will be on the driver, not the car. If your car has the auto-braking or adaptive cruise control or whatever that is currently available, and you hit something, you're responsible, not the manufacturer. That will just be extended.

March 31st, 2015, 07:07 AM
If I have to monitor the thing, I'm not really interested. It works fine with an autopilot on a plane, where it's mostly a fairly relaxing environment with lots of systems to monitor but very little to collide with.

On the other hand, driving is all too frequently an exercise in obstacle avoidance, and having to watch constantly and be ready to intervene would, IMO, be more stressful than driving.

I know I'm much more nervous as a passenger when in traffic than as a driver.

Automated cars are only useful, IMO, if I can sit back with a book and relax.

March 31st, 2015, 09:08 AM
Agreed. Sitting in a seat with your hands on the steering wheel and feet on the pedals evaluating everything to determine whether it's the right thing or not would be more stressful than just driving in the first place. If it can't just do it for me while I space out I'd simply not have it at all.

March 31st, 2015, 09:20 AM
The article I read simply wanted the driver to be awake and available to take control given a warning from the system that it needed driver intervention, not always with hands on the controls. I don't know how that translates to the thing getting in a wreck without ever warning you, as far as liability goes.

Sad, little man
March 31st, 2015, 12:47 PM
Ok, here's how the legal logistics of self driving cars will work...

Automakers will wait to release autonomous cars to the public until they have it nailed down so well that they don't crash 99.9% of the time. (This will take a long time to get right, btw.) But, they will market them with the caveat that you still have to remain alert and ready to take over. You don't really have to though. There won't be any point to it. The car will be far better at avoiding obstacles than any human would be.

Automakers would never release a car that can supposedly be totally autonomous but require fairly frequent driver assistance because it would generate terrible press. The system would get lousy reviews because it wouldn't really work that well, and there would be a lot of accidents because people would not stay alert if they only have to drive the car maybe 5% of the time.

So, they will make a system that works nearly flawlessly, but they will still say that you need to stay alert and ready to take over. People won't. They will read books and use tablets while the car drives itself. Then, in those 0.01% cases where the car just can't avoid an accident, it will get in an accident, and automakers will be able to still pin it on the owner of the car, because they said up front that they should have stayed alert and ready to avoid an accident. Even though, again, the accidents wouldn't really have been able to be avoided by the driver anyway.

In this case, everyone wins. People get their self driving cars and they can just kick back and read a book, and automakers get to sell autonomous cars without the crippling legal liability that goes along with that technology. The only losers are the people in that 0.01% that get in accidents because their cars got into insurmountable situations. But, it will still be much safer overall than driving right now, so it will be a net positive. Sure, you might get in an accident that you had no chance to avoid, but that's really not much different from the same type of control you give up when you ride in a bus or an airplane.

March 31st, 2015, 01:01 PM
.. except for if the plane or bus crashes, you can get restitution from the driver, pilot, or carrier. If your Google Car crashes, you'll have no recourse. That is the law they're trying to write.

April 1st, 2015, 09:08 AM
Maybe autonomous cars shouldn't be sold direct to consumers. Taxi companies will own them just as airlines own the planes... and we the passengers are just along for the ride. Just dial a # or click on your app, iCar comes to your door at the appointed time to pick you up and drop you off wherever you want to go. We just have to pay the fare. If shit happens, it'd be similar deals as if you're involved in plane crashes...

It just doesn't make sense to hold ME responsible when my self driving car made a mistake. I don't want legal issues to cripple the industry, but it makes no sense to allow manufacturers to end up with zero responsibility either. So a buffer taxi company can perhaps be a good middle man?

April 1st, 2015, 09:43 AM
It could very well turn out that way. I agree that crippling innovation with legal mumbo jumbo is not good, but the other side of that coin is crippling people with the pursuit of corporate profits. I don't like the way things are one iota, but it's clear that corporations do not put people first and the only real check left is the threat of legal action. Taking that away creates the potential for human beings to be guinea pigs in the beta testing of autonomous cars in a rush for profit instead of waiting and releasing a fully vetted product. It's a damned rough line to walk for sure.

April 1st, 2015, 10:59 AM
Hmm would they be allowed to operate without a person.
I could see useful application being to drop you off at a location then go a park somewhere else.

Taxi or ride share style would also be good.

April 1st, 2015, 11:23 AM
Audi boasts they can do that right now - but only on private property. You can summon your car with your phone and it will come pick you up at your door. I think for people with big properties no doubt! :)

April 1st, 2015, 11:59 AM
Or people who live in cities and don't like to deal with parking. That would be a cool feature.

So when an empty iCar caused an accident, who'll be responsible for it?

Neat philosophical question? ;)