10 carefully chosen beliefs on Apple Car
With 80+ loosely collected thoughts, I selected the most intriguing ones and built a concept that I deeply believe in.
- Apple Car will not be a car (as we think of today).
- Apple Car will be a room that takes you somewhere.
- Apple Car will be both owned and rented.
- Apple Car will be self-sufficient.
- Apple Car will not have a dedicated front, side, oder back.
- Apple Car will be easy to enter and stand up.
- Apple Car will ignite more driving, not less.
- Apple Car will change legislation.
- Apple Car will be adaptable to change.
- Apple Car will be called Apple Car.
1. Apple Car will not be a car (as we think of today).
Today’s cars are products of a centuries-old mindset about mobility.
They helped worsen global warming and pollution, raised the level of noise in our environment, and were directly involved in the deaths of millions of people after accidents.
Apple Car will be about a different kind of mobility: Sustainable, safe, and sound – as in quiet.
2. Apple Car will be a room that takes you somewhere.
I think we will look back on today’s car driving experience and think: How could we be so wrong for so long? Driving on our own, and all the implications that has on how cars and roads are built – as well as on the businesses behind that – will look stupid in retrospect.
Also, thinking of it as a room adds some important layers of experience: For instance, a room doesn’t shake like nowaday’s cars do. A room is also more personal (see below my beliefs number 5, 6, and 9). You don’t „steer“ a room, you live in it.
3. Apple Car will be both owned and rented.
Apple is about ownership – and because that is so integral to the company, I don’t think it will change with the car. But that does not rule out that there will also be fleets.
Both can be attractive businesses, and Apple knows well how much it’s worth when people can have a lengthy try-out of a future purchase. It’s the reason they build Apple Stores.
4. Apple Car will be self-sufficient.
Apple Car will be electric, and most electric cars are still met with scepticism because of recharging. This will change when recharging happens all the time (most importantly during the 99% of time when cars used to sit idle) because of solar energy. A self-driving electric car could also change parking lots to stay in the sun, when not in use.
5. Apple Car will not have a dedicated front, side, oder back.
With iPad, there was no right or wrong way of holding it. Jony Ive emphasized that it’s got no top or bottom that would tell me what to do.
Apple Car will let me enter on any side (if I choose so – I will get into that with number 9 of my beliefs), and also exit on a different side than I entered. Why is that important? It will change how much space a car needs. If I can enter any way, it will not need as much space to turn around because it doesn’t have to.
But there’s more to it.
I believe the car – a room, a square box – will have a construction that will let it change direction while driving.
When driving slowly in the city, the front will be flat against the driving direction. When going faster on highways, where it also got more space than in the city center, it will turn 45 degrees to have a more aerodynamic shape. It will do all those things just by turning the square room in a different direction than the wheels. In fact, the wheels will all be totally independent and not be connected with axes.
6. Apple Car will be easy to enter and stand up.
Today’s cars are about 2 meters high and 2.5 meters wide (most are much longer but due to legacy design thinking). You can only sit in these cars, and Elon Musk is making a show out of Model X’ possibility to stand up – in a cumbersome way – under its falcon wing doors in the back. But this is only a transformation phase towards real design change in the auto space.
Truly different would be a room that adapts in height when needed. You will enter through sliding glass doors, and the roof will lower when you sit and the car gains speed.
7. Apple Car will ignite more driving, not less.
Most people are afraid of cars, afraid of driving. This will change when cars aren’t cars any more, and driving is done by a computer. It will be less dangerous, less stressful, and less harmful to the environment.
People will love going by Apple Car, and spending time in it. Remember, Apple will not enter businesses with low usage activity.
8. Apple Car will change legislation.
With the car driving, who will be allowed to go? Can someone without a driving license go by Apple Car? Can a child only go with adult supervision? What happens when a unmanned car is involved in an accident (say, with an other car driven by a human being)?
Can legislation even keep up with that speed of change? It will – because you can expect a huge number of side businesses to arise (while others may vanish), and all of them will make lots of money they can spend on lobbying.
9. Apple Car will be adaptable to change.
Today, you buy a car in a certain configuration you can’t change after purchase. Automakers spend lots of time and money in car configurators that are among the most complicated and frustrating steps in any buying process.
The future care will be modular – in hardware. Think Apple Watch and wristbands. Modular hardware by design. Why? Because it’s fashion. And fashion is a little bit different every day.
Cars stay the same for years. Not Apple Car.
Imagine a modular system of the boxy room we talked about, and you could select different walls and change them over time. One wall would feature a sliding door, the other one a big screen on glass (enter Apple’s VR experiments), one would feature a drop-out desk, etc.
The whole room would be able to change by the settings in your Car app on iPhone or iPad. Need a desk when Apple Car arrives to pick you up? It will transform its interior on the way. Need two chairs? Swipe to change.
10. Apple Car will be called Apple Car.
With the car, Apple is reinventing something we all know.
Unlike with the iPad, which was a new thing without any historic reference (other than the iPhone), with a car there’s legacy – and Apple will certainly want to connect to the known to make us better adapt to the new. They did this with the iPhone (which wasn’t anything like phones before)
But lately with the Apple Watch and services like Apple Pay (both depending on trust by consumers – something which is deeply connected to the Apple brand), the company abandoned the i-prefix naming strategy.
Likely, there will never be a newly launched iDevice line anymore – and that’s why the car can only be called Apple Car.