Apple’s car won’t come out until 2019 or later, if the company even decides to release it.
But that hasn’t stopped massive speculation about what automotive inventions the company could be building in its network of industrial buildings in Sunnyvale, California.
Motor Trend, one of the most respected car publications, recently enlisted students at the ArtCenter College of Design, an art college that it calls essentially “the international epicentre of automotive design.” It wouldn’t be surprising if some of these students ended up working for Apple.
What those students came up with on the drawing board provides an interesting way of looking at how Apple may be designing a car that’s less car and more electronic gadget. Here’s what they came up with:
- One young designer says: “The car would be ownable if you want to own it, but the real value of the phone isn’t the hardware but in its apps.” It would drive autonomously.
- Another chimes in: “The future of automotive glass isn’t laminated safety glass. It will be in the realm of hard-coated polycarbonates that allow expansive glass surfaces for augmented or, as I prefer to call them, ‘merged-reality’ projections.”
- A professor at the school proposes that the car will “look like a blend of Toyota’s Me.We concept and Marc Newson’s Ford 021C concept.”
- The windshield would have swipeable and expandable graphics, and would largely replace the traditional dashboard. Augmented reality software would highlight people and cars nearby, although “their purpose is to give the occupants confidence that the car sees them rather than acting as driver alerts.”
- They speculate the Apple Car will feature wireless induction charging, because it’s an electric car, obviously.
- Instead of keys, drivers would use their smartphone or Apple Watch.
- And of course the ArtCenter students couldn’t resist putting gull-wing doors on their creation.
There’s a lot more informed speculation and interesting ideas about the future of electric cars over at Motor Trend.