back to article Apple 'hires' the 'A-Team' from car titans, they DO SAY: Let's modify the 'van'!

Apple has apparently shanghaied experts from the automotive industry for a super-secret project or two that no one really knows anything about. CEO Tim Cook and bling-master Sir Jony Ive have been meeting – and trying to hire – eggheads at Mercedes-Benz and other manufacturers to help develop an Apple "automotive product," it' …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "the US federal government will accept Apple Pay"

    So, the "United States of Apple" is slowly being bolted together.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "the US federal government will accept Apple Pay"

      US federal government accepts Apple Pay, Apple accepts government intrusion in the name of CYBERWAR.

      1. SuccessCase

        Re: "the US federal government will accept Apple Pay"

        Tim Cook has of course just made a speech on this very subject which firmly didn't meet Barak Obama's agenda. Cook stated how history has taught that to compromise personal privacy even a bit is a bad move. He pointedly referred to how the right to personal privacy trumps the desire for governments to know and cited how being gay remains a life/career threatening private matter in some countries.

        Also the Apple pay system stands out for the fact it doesn't track your purchase transactions, or even pass the details onto the retailer. Only the bank retain the record. Buy something using Apple pay, and you will have to separately provide your email address if you want the receipt emailed to you. None of the other contactless payment systems proposed by big Silicon Valley companies are the same in that regard

        1. JamesTQuirk

          Re: "the US federal government will accept Apple Pay"

          ApplePay ? So while you walk around, paying for things, Apple gets to take take a bite out everything you buy & spys on you, while hackers are trying to take a bite of your Apple ?

          I think I will be giving it a miss ...

  2. Misky

    iCar

    or is it the iVan? Either way it will be great for a year, then they'll upload a new OS that will slow it to half the speed. So now you have to buy the iVan2.

    But then is that any worse than a Google car that will listen to everything you say and keep pinging up adverts as you drive along?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: iCar

      Both would be an improvement over anything MS brings out.. <crash><restart>

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: iCar

        Its all a secret plot by GM, Ford and Chrysler to make people think the old school American automakers aren't that bad after all.

    2. ST Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: iCar

      - gCar: root it, install Disable Service and AdBlock, disable Google Play Services and then it becomes usable. Also, don't forget to set Location Services to "Battery Saving", otherwise gCar will run out of battery after 6 miles and will stop dead on the highway.

      - iCar: does it bend?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Any colour you want...

    ...as long as it's white.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Judging from their track records

    of the iWatch. This is going to take at least 5 years or more.

    In the end they might not even put it into production. It's probably just another publicity gimmick US tech giants now-a-days do, i.e. do what's "trending" in silicon valley to boost their share prices.

    1. D@v3

      Re: Judging from their track records

      I was thinking along the lines of the iTV that we were promised (by all the rumour merchants) a few years ago

  5. 45RPM

    If this is more than just someone at Apple playing around with the technology to understand it better then I say that this hubris.

    Apple has something to bring to the computer business - it has nothing to offer the car business. For it to think that it can outdo Ford, VW, Volvo and so forth is just nonsense. It makes as much sense as Microsoft entering the brewing business or Goofle opening up a restaurant.

    1. 9Rune5 Silver badge

      Apple could buy what is left of Saab Automobile. My five year old Saab 9-5 has now reached an age where I'd normally want to replace it, but I'd end up paying more than I gave for it as new to get a lesser car. Saab had a superior exterior and more than decent performance (the 9-5 running at 250 kph on the autobahn is almost surreal. You can still steer the car with one hand comfortably – not to mention what happens if you hit a spot of ice on the road). To say that I dread having to let it go one day is an understatement.

      Unfortunately the 9-5 IP (owned by GM) is not part of the current bankruptcy estate and the engineers have been scattered. However, I believe many of the engineers would return 'home' if a big player offered a viable long-term plan. E.g. eAAM used to be part of Saab Automobile: http://youtu.be/kn8agLEzH18 and I am sure their AWD system could be adapted to whatever car design Apple chooses.

      It would still take ten-fifteen years to catch up with the Germans, but it isn't impossible.

    2. Captain Queeg

      Hubris on who's part though?

      "Apple has something to bring to the computer business - it has nothing to offer the car business."

      Isn't that what conventional wisdom said about the phone market? I seem to recall Steve Balmer certainly took that view...

      Not saying you're wrong but are the likes of GM,Ford, VAG et al fundamentally much different to Nokia - long established, entrenched, complacent - fat and happy?

      1. JamesTQuirk

        Re: Hubris on who's part though?

        Yes but Cars need to Have ...

        Ownership like a Bonded Client ...

        a need to have constant updates & Upgrades ... ( I am afraid sir, the New Ashtray with I-Potty recharger, needs a class 2 chassis & frame, you need a upgrade to a ICar 7)

        Die when you do .. ( Hope it just parks itself, & brakes don't lockup in traffic, if you have Heart Attack)

        Any media "in" the vehicle, not allowed to be passed on to a relative ... (because they can sell the music you & family enjoyed together, on trips, again)

        Be manufactured in Bonded Servitude (ooops, they stopped this year anyway;)...

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge

      > Apple has something to bring to the computer business - it has nothing to offer the car business.

      The origin of the Swatch Smart brand of small cars makes interesting reading. ' History doesn't repeat: It rhymes'.

      In the late 1980s, SMH (makers of the Swatch brand of watches) CEO Nicolas Hayek began developing an idea for a new car using the same type of manufacturing strategies and personalization features used to popularize Swatch watches. He believed that the automotive industry had ignored a sector of potential customers who wanted a small and stylish city car. This idea soon became known as the "Swatchmobile". Hayek's private company Hayek Engineering AG began designing the new car for SMH, with seating for two and a hybrid drivetrain.[2]

      While design of the car was proceeding, Hayek feared existing manufacturers would feel threatened by the Swatchmobile. Thus, rather than directly competing, he preferred to cooperate with another company in the automotive industry. This would also relieve SMH of the cost burden in setting up a distribution network. Hayek approached several automotive manufacturers and on July 3, 1991, he reached an agreement with Volkswagen to share development of the new project.[3]

      -http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_%28automobile%29

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Coat

      "Apple has something to bring to the computer business - it has nothing to offer the car business."

      Oh, I don't know. Maybe Apple, MS, Google et al could use this as an opportunity for cross-fertilisation of technology. They could teach the car makers about network and software security and systems hardening. Compared to the average in-car network, Apple et al are paragons of virtues and skillz"

  6. Haku
    Trollface

    It's probably an electric car with non-replaceable batteries.

    1. VinceH
      Trollface

      And don't forget the non-standard charging connector.

  7. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Put four rounded corners together

    and Apple now own the fucking wheel!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Put four rounded corners together

      There's prior art for a four-cornered steering wheel but as it's not American and Apple are American it probably won't stop Apple being granted patents, copyrights, registered designs, etc.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin_Allegro

      1. Richard Parkin

        Re: Put four rounded corners together

        Don't Formula 1 cars have rectangular steering wheels these days?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like, OMG ... !!

    Apple have invented a four-wheeled, horseless carriage transportation device! [SWOON]

  9. Eddy Ito

    Meanwhile, Cupertino staff are jumping ship to Tesla, it's claimed. Reports surfaced last week that Elon Musk's 'leccy car biz had lured away upwards of 150 Apple employees.

    I've suspected as much for some time now.

    1. JamesTQuirk

      That was in a Forbes media release clip, in a interview with Elon Musk & I don't believe that guys needs to "gild the lilly" about things, except they are now "competition", but Maybe, Elon Musk doesn't want idiots buying his vehicles & wrecking them, so will leave that side to Apple .....

  10. Rick Brasche

    never saw the minivan version

    but did see this exact sensor suite parked on top of a small SUV on Saratoga on the edge of Campbell.

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