Apple car design goal exposure

The Information reporter Wayne Ma published an in-depth report today, detailing Apple's efforts to build a self-driving electric car, including technical challenges, and since the project is about eight years old. Several leadership changes since the previous start.

Notably, the report revealed some interesting details about the physical appearance of the so-called "Apple Car." The car's latest design is said to feature four face-to-face seats that allow passengers to talk face to face with each other, while also having a curved roof similar to that of a Volkswagen Beetle.

Apple's designers are also experimenting with a trunk that automatically raises for easy access and automatically lowers when not in use, the report says, and the designers are also said to have discussed large seatback screens that can be raised and lowered.

Apple's former design director Jony Ive is reportedly still working on the project as a consultant. Ive, who left Apple in 2019 to start the independent design firm LoveFrom, suggested that the Apple Auto team "should lean toward the weirdness of the vehicle's design and not try to hide its sensors."

As previously reported, The Information stated that Apple is aiming to obtain a waiver from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to launch vehicles without steering wheels and brake pedals. Regarding self-driving technology, the Apple car team is said to have crafted multiple demo videos to show Tim Cook and other executives. The team also took Cook for a ride in a test car in the Santa Clara Valley, which successfully completed a self-driving trip and even "autonomously conducted a DMV self-driving road test to demonstrate its capabilities."

Interestingly, the report claims that Apple has even discussed allowing passengers to sleep on their backs in the car.

Apple is now discussing how to disguise a prototype of the car during public testing as the car slowly approaches its launch, the report said. However, the car is likely a few years away from launch.


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