Stuck in heavy traffic: Apple’s car-tastrophy

It’ll never work.


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If there’s one thing we know about Apple products that haven’t been released or announced or even fully developed yet, it’s that they’re nonstarters. This one just happens to have an actual ignition.

“Apple is catastrophically late to the self-driving car game.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Tibor Csapo.)

Seriously, everyone already owns a self-driving car. We live in a utopia of comfortable, safe transit and are just months away from completing the terraforming of Mars.

Care for some Soylent Green or are you on your way to Carousel?

Wait. What year is it? 2017? Oh, sorry. That’s all wrong. Sorry, the Macalope was time projecting again. Forget he said that stuff.


Look, the horny one isn’t going to sit here and tell you that Apple will come out with a self-driving car and that it will be amazewheels or even that their car project hasn’t apparently had some problems, but there is something about this that reminds him of the iPhone nay-saying of late 2006. Every project faces obstacles. That doesn’t mean it’s never going to amount to anything.

But in addition to being way late to this already completely defined and locked-up market, Apple is also doing it wrong by using “a Lexus SUV with self-driving controls in the backseat.”

There are some serious problems with this approach. For starters, bolt-on technology doesn’t work, you have to develop a self-driving technology that’s designed to be integrated into a vehicle as it’s assembled — but that’s beside the point.

We know this because all the self-driving cars that have been sold to date were developed this way. If you’re wondering with what authority DeBord speaks on self-driving car development, remember that he previously predicted the iPhone 5 was going to fail and that Apple should be worried about the TAG Heuer Connected, so it is safe to assume these judgements are spot on.

Speaking of the TAG Hauer Connected, check out this delightful puff interview with TAG Heuer’s ad agency from last month. In it you will read that the Apple Watch was an “ill-fated” device that has “failed to catch on,” while the TAG Heuer sold a whopping 60,000 units. By way of comparison, here on Earth Prime, Apple is estimated to have sold 25 million Watches to date.

Even if what’s pictured in the piece DeBord links to really is an early Apple car prototype, analyzing Apple’s chances by looking at it is like looking at the original iPhone development setup and saying, “No one wants to carry around a G3 tower and Harmon Kardon Soundsticks to make mobile phone calls. It’ll never work.” Besides, the Apple system DeBord is critiquing appears to be for training self-driving car testers. It’s not clear at all that this is Apple’s actual prototype.

Just for the record, Google started outfitting Lexus SUVs back in 2009 with the first of its own self-driving technologies.

Yeah, and the first digital audio player was patented in 1985, but the iPod still did pretty well.

It’s not entirely clear yet what Apple’s setup consists of…

But we know that it’s late and it’s all wrong.

Apple declined to comment.

You don’t say.

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