Rumors of Apple Car (codename ‘Project Titan’) continue to swirl and there’s plenty time left for Apple to solidify or change its plans, given the expected launch of the new automobile is still five years away. However, that isn’t stopping car company executives weighing in on the rumors. Whilst GM execs diss the idea of Apple investing in an electric car as a ‘gigantic money pit’, an executive from Ford seems enthused by the prospect. In an interview with Trusted Reviews, Don Butler, Executive Director for Ford Connected Vehicles, said that they welcome competition and thinks technology companies can pull it off.
“We welcome others joining. We welcome the activity that’s in the space. We think it’s exciting. It’s actually changed that we are embracing,” said Butler, speaking to TrustedReviews at the CES 2016 tradeshow in Las Vegas. “So I think Apple can do it. I think Google can do it.”
Watch the full interview in the video after the break …
Regarding autonomy, the Ford exec believes that the industry will reach Level 4 autonomous driving. This means that cars will be able to drive themselves in well-mapped areas in well-mapped conditions, i.e. main roads, highways and cities. He also suggests that companies like Apple or Google could partner with companies like Ford to speed up innovation in the car sector. Today, Ford is a close partner in Apple’s CarPlay system, promising to bring integrations to cars in 2016.
Ford seems to be bullish on the adoption of the technology and the integration with technology companies. However, Dave Anderson, a representative from automotive integration at Nvidia was not as convinced regarding Apple’s entrance. He warned that the process of making cars is arduous and involved, claiming both Apple and Google have a lot more learning to do before they can release their own successful electric vehicles.
It is likely that Apple’s presence in the vehicles industry has grown since it made an appearance at a global car conference in November, leading executives to consider the proposition more seriously. Last week, Elon Musk described Apple’s electric car efforts as an ‘open secret’, claiming it could be compelling. The tangible Apple Car will remain a mystery for the foreseeable future, however.