Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Apple Said to Be Considering Augmented Reality for Car Driving System


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a new research report outlining why he believes Apple has shifted its focus from its original rumored car project in favor of augmented reality technology.

According to Kuo, reports that Apple has turned its attention to developing a software-based autonomous driving system "make sense", given that the system will support augmented reality and provide an "innovative user experience".

All of Apple's past successes were related to human-machine interfaces, such as mouse for Mac, click wheel for iPod, and multi-touch for iPhone and iPad.

Assuming Apple successfully develops AR, we predict the firm will enjoy the following competitive advantages: (1) redefining existing key products and leading competitors by three to five years. For instance, this could happen for iPhone, iPad and Mac; (2) eliminating obstacles of Apple Watch and Apple TV by offering an innovative user experience; and (3) entering new business fields, such as autonomous driving system.

We expect Apple to generate preliminary results for AR in the next 1-2 years at the earliest and working with iPhone may be the first step.
Kuo thinks the AR market will increase significantly in 2018 and will replace VR to become the mainstream market focus as Apple enters the field. Kuo predicts the AR and VR markets combined will grow from $40-50 billion in 2018 to $150 billion in 2020, with the majority increase coming from AR.

Apple's increased interest in augmented reality is no secret. CEO Tim Cook has spoken about AR on a number of occasions over recent months, hinting that the company's approach to AR should encourage, not replace, human contact.

In July, Cook said Apple was "high on AR in the long run" and that the company continues "to invest a lot in [AR]." He said he believes augmented reality "can be huge," and in August, he called it a "core technology", while in September Cook said he believes that between VR and AR, the latter "is the larger of the two," because it allows people to "be very present," engaging with one another while having other visual things to see.

According to rumors, Apple has a research team working on augmented and virtual reality, exploring the AR/VR field and investigating how the company could embrace augmented or virtual reality in the future. Apple has reportedly built prototype virtual reality headsets, but Cook's continued comments on augmented reality indicate Apple is more heavily invested in that technology.

Article Link: Apple Said to Be Considering Augmented Reality for Car Driving System


macrumors 6502
Jan 3, 2008
I hope they don't try to force drive-by-trackpad or multitouch glass steering wheel or nonsense like that. Knobs and buttons forever!
  • Like
Reactions: Benjamin Frost


macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2006
After the evolution of the Music industry I think industry incumbents have become very weary of tech companies, not just Apple but Google as well.

You can see that first hand in the Movies and TV industry and the way things have been developing.

I doubt car manufacturers will want anything from outside. It will be a steep effort by Apple and to succeed they need to come up with something awesome.


macrumors member
Nov 1, 2012
Apple's A/R will be more like adding CarPlay to other manufacturers self driving vehicles.


Dec 6, 2012
For driving, heads-up displays have been around for a while, but have not shown to be that helpful. Heads-up is also used in fighter jets. I think that if it is well implemented AR can be a great add to a driving experience. But that too may be a transitional technology on the path to self driving. However, AR could still be useful even in self driving to provide information about the surroundings. The question is what is Apple really up to. THe seem to be abandoning older product lines line computers. Their commitment to laptops is muddled after the last release. So maybe they have decided to get into AR and cars as the future of the company. Who knows.....


macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2002
An augmented reality projection system is something that Tesla is rumoured to be working on for the Model 3. Hirings and hints from Elon himself are pointing to this reality. Autopilot 2.0 hardware in every Tesla will allow for full level-5 autonomy as soon as late next year so this stuff starts to make sense given the direction they're going with the interior of that car (very spartan).

Not sure how Apple can "productize" this type of technology if they're not going to make a car as they're not generally keen on licensing their tech to others.

In case you want to see what is possible have a look at these videos of AR in car concepts:

  • Like
Reactions: doelcm82 and LooZpl

Urban Joe

Mar 19, 2012
I think safe autonomous cars are a long way off... remember the guy who died in his Tesla by over relying on its assited steering.

I think it would be better to invest in high tech public transportation since to many people (including drivers) keeps their eyes glued to their touchscreen.

Displaying any information or content, even if its transparent requires focusing on it and last I checked humans cant focus on two things at once. Therefore...anything besides speed/navigation/radio controls poses a serious safety risk.

To all the jack-a$$es ...and there are way to many...that think they can screw with their phone and whiz in and out of traffic you're kidding yourself if you think you are not driving criminally wrecklessly. When you wreck your car and cause injury or death remember how stupid you were to think it was safe. And don't waste your time replying with some cheeky remark claiming your foolishness is justified. If you do it you're no better than a drunk driver....probably worse. My opinion is RIGHT and you are WRONG.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.