The Apple Car could have changed the face of the auto industry

Last month, Apple calmly went around to the back of company headquarters in Cupertino carrying the self-driving Apple Car files and put a bullet through the project. Apple spent a decade and a ton of money on what would have turned out to be an amazing game-changing vehicle according to the description of what Apple was working on written by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in his latest Power On newsletter.

Gurman said that the design Apple was working on around 2020 was similar to the rounded Canoo Lifestyle Vehicle. This is a van that at the time, looks the same in the front and back so that it always appears that the vehicle is moving forward. Gurman says that the vehicle resembled no other vehicle mass-produced at the time and was designed for full Level 5 autonomous driving.

While Apple changed the looks of the car’s interior a few times, the look was a minimalist one with seats that looked like those seen in a limo or private jet; the vehicle would accommodate four people. Some versions of the interior featured a big television set in the center to show videos and FaceTime video chats. From the roof of the vehicle, multiple iPad-sized screens were suspended to give passengers access to certain controls. A special air-conditioning system pushed the air along the sides of the interior instead of blowing it right at the passengers’ faces.

Two previous designs for the Apple Car included the first one which resembled the 1950s Volkswagen microbus; inside Apple, this design was known as the Bread Loaf. The second design for the vehicle looked like the 2017 Volkswagen ID Buzz prototype before VW showed off its concept. The fourth design, the one that looked like the Canoo Lifestyle Vehicle, had CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams excited.

But the most recent design also included a less ambitious Level 2 autonomy forcing Apple to add a steering wheel and pedals. The sliding van doors were replaced by gull-wing doors. Nonetheless, it’s all moot at this point anyway and while Apple might have changed the face of the automobile similar to what it did with the smartphone, the company decided to stick to its knitting since the project still had a long way to go and a lot more red ink to spill before it would be ready to be launched.

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