Thoughts on Apple car, Part 9

Michael Schmidt
Feb 28, 2016 · 2 min read

In Part Five, I wrote:

The question for the Apple car is: What are the sources for bad experiences, can Apple involve them in making it better by offering them a great business they didn’t have before?

The quality of roads will be essential to the driving experience of the Apple car. Why? Because it could be a differentiator to other cars, because they all need to go on the same roads.

But since they are (probably) self driving cars, the experience changes for the passengers.

When you drive on your own, and all the passengers look in the same direction, they see bumps coming, they see it coming when there will be a turn, an overtaking manouvre, or just breaking and accelerarion. They can anticipate.

When the car drives itself, there’s no need anymore to look into the same direction the car is going. You can do something else.

Since with more time you’d engage in deeper activities like watching a movie or reading or writing, you’d be more than subtly interrupted by bumps and turns. Imagine your Apple Pencil bumping off your iPad Pro that is on top of the table in your car. You wouldn’t be able to take notes or draw, without the risk of being disturbed by the ecosystem’s overall experience.

Because this problem may affect the user experience of Apple’s other previous products as well, it’s critical and needs to be solved.

So, what could Apple do to improve the roads its car will be driving on?

Reading a Jalopnik piece from early February, it occurred to me: This isn’t about roads – they won’t change. This is about thinking differently about this problem.

Prior to the Beats acquisition, Bose sound systems have been a long time partner for Apple. They sold their headphones and Bluetooth speakers in Apple Stores, because they were great accessories to iPhone.

And Bose, as a kind of „hobby“, developed a new suspension system for cars – but it was too heavy and too expensive to go mainstream. However, it was elegant and superior at first sight.

See the magic in action:

Sounds like a problem to solve and an opportunity to seize, for Apple.

And it may be a business for Bose, who have invested millions of dollars into R&D for the system for over 20 years – and remained ignored by traditional automakers even after being ready for prime time in 2009.

And circling this back to my discussion with Neil, I would say:

If it’s a smart room on wheels, the wheels better be smart as well.


Thoughts on Apple Car

Conceptualizations on the future car, a.o. shared by former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée, Apple/Google/Dropbox designer Ryhan Hassan, Lyft and Snap VC investor Alex Giannikoulis, Wristly founder Bernard Desarnauts, and CaminaLab/Drivania/Shotl founder Gerard Martret.

Michael Schmidt

Written by

Director Consulting at Virtual Identity. I spent a decade on automotive brands in digital, and blog about brand strategy, #ubx and #AppleCar / #ProjectTitan.

Thoughts on Apple Car

Conceptualizations on the future car, a.o. shared by former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée, Apple/Google/Dropbox designer Ryhan Hassan, Lyft and Snap VC investor Alex Giannikoulis, Wristly founder Bernard Desarnauts, and CaminaLab/Drivania/Shotl founder Gerard Martret.

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