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The so-called "Apple Car" may not be a car after all, but rather an electric van, according to German site Manager Magazin.

Apple-Van-New-Jersey-800x385.jpg
LiDAR-equipped Apple Maps vehicle in 2015

The report, loosely translated below, claims Apple's industrial design group has designed prototypes of the van with black and silver finishes:
After that, the Apple Car could come in the form of an electric van. Apple's engineers have designed specimens with black and silver paint, designed in the typical industrial design of the iPhone group. Apple also researches on its own batteries, electric motors, special seats and interior components.
Last year, The New York Times reported that Apple had signed a deal to use Volkswagen vans as self-driving shuttles to transport employees around its various campuses and office buildings in the San Francisco Bay Area. It's possible the vans could be designed by Apple and manufactured by Volkswagen.

The context of this report really depends on how ambitious Apple's plans are. Early reports suggested that Apple was developing an electric vehicle under the codename Project Titan, but later reports have suggested that Apple may be focused on the underlying electric and self-driving technologies only.

Apple recently hired former Tesla lead engineer Doug Field to lead the project alongside longtime Apple executive Bob Mansfield. Last month, Apple reportedly removed more than 200 employees from the team, but Apple said "we continue to believe there is a huge opportunity with autonomous systems."

In any case, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple is unlikely to release a vehicle until 2023 to 2025.

Apple already uses a fleet of LiDAR-equipped vans to collect mapping data, as part of its efforts to improve Apple Maps. Each van is equipped with an iPad and a Mac Pro to assist the drivers with surveying streets and neighborhoods.

Via: Reuters

Article Link: German Report Says 'Apple Car' Could Arrive in Form of Electric Van
 

mozumder

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2009
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I like the idea of a utilitarian electric mini-van - none of the current mini-vans have electric models - but self-driving cars will NEVER happen without modifying the actual infrastructure.

Right now self-driving electric cars from Tesla have a higher death rate than motorcycles.

Meanwhile, there are some vehicles that have NEVER had a driver fatality for some model years, like the Kia Sorrento and the Honda Odyssey.
 
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cmaier

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Why even bother? Tesla is going to be far ahead of any car Apple could put out. They've missed their chance.
As a Tesla owner, i disagree.
[doublepost=1550763763][/doublepost]
Because nothing is more trendy or cool then a van.
I seriously doubt they ever sell a car. They will operate a fleet as part of a subscription. Like Uber meets iTunes.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,539
25,301
Electric van? Boy that's gonna be a pain in the butt.

So not only will I have to blotch out all the windows and put a mattress in the back, I'll THEN have to worry about finding a charging point and make sure the battery is topped up if I take an impromptu long drive into the woods.

No thanks. I'll stick with diesel and an emergency can.
 

FightTheFuture

macrumors 68000
Oct 19, 2003
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that town east of ann arbor
As a Tesla owner, i disagree.
[doublepost=1550763763][/doublepost]
I seriously doubt they ever sell a car. They will operate a fleet as part of a subscription. Like Uber meets iTunes.
Could you expand on this? I feel that Tesla is the only company fixing the car experience and are already far ahead of the competition.

And I agree that the autonomous driving project is a ride share service, nothing points to Apple making cars for mass market. Just like the Apple TV.
 
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cmaier

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You want a sports car I suppose? What you driving now?

Check out the Mercedes Marco Polo - It is one cool van.

The whole point is you wont be driving it. You’ll “hey Siri get me a car,” one rolls up, you throw your stuff in it and get in, it takes you where you are going, and you get out. You are automatically charge with Apple Pay, you don’t have to park it, the car goes and gets someone else, and you move on with your life.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,895
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In between a rock and a hard place
We should pump the brakes on the van idea. Apple may very well have used a van form factor as a test bed for materials, components and software. That is in no way an indicator that their Apple car would come as a van. If anything, it would be an easy way for Apple to camouflage their actual vehicle design until it's closer to fruition.
 

tobefirst ⚽️

macrumors 601
Jan 24, 2005
4,610
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St. Louis, MO
I like the idea of a utilitarian electric mini-van - none of the current mini-vans have electric models - but self-driving cars will NEVER happen without modifying the actual infrastructure.

Right now self-driving electric cars from Tesla have a higher death rate than motorcycles.

Meanwhile, there are some vehicles that have NEVER had a driver fatality for some model years, like the Kia Sorrento and the Honda Odyssey.
My friends have a Chrysler Pacifica electric mini-van. It's a plug-in hybrid that gets 30 or 40 miles on the electric motor before needing to switch to the gas engine. I didn't even know the thing existed before they bought it. They had to have it transported 1500 miles from California, I think, to where we live in Missouri.

But you were probably speaking of a full electric mini-van.
 

rumplestiltskin

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2006
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Steering wheel not required; it's self-driven, right? No gauges either; why would you need them when carOS is monitoring things for you?

If Ive is involved, it's DOA.
 

cmaier

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Jul 25, 2007
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Could you expand on this? I feel that Tesla is the only company fixing the car experience and are already far ahead of the competition.

And I agree that the autonomous driving project is a ride share service, nothing points to Apple making cars for mass market. Just like the Apple TV.

Tesla’s “autonomous” driving is nothing more than smart cruise control. It generally will keep distance to the car in front of you, but it swerves scarily a lot of the time if the car in front of you changes lanes, or the highway medium has a discontinuity or bend, or there’s an exit lane with faded road markers. It doesnt understand traffic lights, stop signs, etc. You have to keep your hands on the wheel, and for good reason.
 

Baymowe335

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Oct 6, 2017
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Why even bother? Tesla is going to be far ahead of any car Apple could put out. They've missed their chance.
Yeah, Tesla is just killing it from a profitability and sales perspective...

Tesla is entirely potential. The amount of cars they sell is incredibly small and they have lost money almost every quarter. Subsidies for electric cars are expiring and competition is going to be intense.

Electric vehicles are not a concept Honda, BMW, Mercedes, Toyota, GM, and Ford don't understand.

I'm not saying Tesla is a dead company. I'm saying they aren't dominating anything at the moment and there are other FAR more competent car companies.

Tesla's factory is an outdated rig Toyota didn't want anymore. You think Tesla is advanced in manufacturing? Go watch a BMW being produced.
 
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macduke

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
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Why even bother? Tesla is going to be far ahead of any car Apple could put out. They've missed their chance.
Said everyone in 2006 at the prospect of Apple making their own phone. Why even bother? The cell phone market is mature. There are so many big players already like Nokia, Blackberry, Palm, Sony and Motorola. Those companies are going to be the top phone makers forever. Nothing will ever surpass Windows Mobile, Symbian and Blackberry OS. Apple is too late to the game! They've missed their chance.
 

Winni

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,207
1,196
Germany.
The whole point is you wont be driving it. You’ll “hey Siri get me a car,” one rolls up, you throw your stuff in it and get in, it takes you where you are going, and you get out. You are automatically charge with Apple Pay, you don’t have to park it, the car goes and gets someone else, and you move on with your life.

That is EXACTLY what the future of self-driving cars will look like. If you own such a car, you might want to turn it into a driving office (when driving to work) or into a living room with a home theater (when driving home from work) or just a rolling bar. However you're going to use it, you won't be using it as a traditional car because driving and steering the vehicle yourself won't even appear on your radar screen. It will about doing something fun or useful (or even sleeping) during the commute. So, yeah, a self-driving van would make PERFECT sense.
 
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