For a while now, there have been rumors that Apple is working on a self-driving car. It seemed like an odd step for the company, but then again Google is currently the leader in self-driving technology.
Still, there are always rumors about out-there projects Apple is working on, so it's never a good idea to get excited about them until the rumor is confirmed. Consider this one, codenamed Project Titan, very likely.
The Guardian has learned that Tim Cook has been meeting with Fiat-Chrysler and BMW, as well as hiring experts away from Mercedes, Tesla and other premier car makers. The cincher, however, is that Apple is reportedly in talks to use GoMentum Station.
GoMentum Station is located at an old World War II naval weapons station in Concord, California. According to government officials, the facility is meant for "testing validation and commercialization of connected vehicle (CV) applications and autonomous vehicles (AV) technologies to define the next generation of transportation network infrastructure." Both Mercedes and Honda have plans to test self-driving cars there.
Apple being Apple, there's still no official confirmation, and probably won't be until it unveils the finished product at a major press event. Still, it will be interesting to see what it comes up with.
In the spirit of tech companies making cars, we dug out this joke email from a decade ago that asked the question "What would a Microsoft-made car be like?"
For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.
Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason, you would simply accept this.
Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.
The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation" warning light.
Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.
Every time a new car was introduced, car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.
And our favorite:
It would ask "Are you sure?" before deploying the airbags.
And then because it was the time of the Apple and Microsoft wars:
Apple would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads.