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Apple will start making self-driving electric cars

February 17, 2015

Apple Inc. is a company that thrives on innovation. The technology giant started out as a maker of computers, but today its revenues come predominantly from iPhone sales. Now, recent reports indicate the company is working on developing a self-driving electric car. Apple's new direction can serve as inspiration for businesses looking to modernize their operations and explore new territory.

Apple Inc. is a company that thrives on innovation. The technology giant started out as a maker of computers, but today its revenues come predominantly from iPhone sales. Now, recent reports indicate the company is working on developing a self-driving electric car. Apple’s new direction can serve as inspiration for businesses looking to modernize their operations and explore new territory. 

Apple’s foray into the automobile industry
Industry experts would not have predicted 10 years ago that Apple would be developing electric cars in 2015, but perhaps the move is not so surprising given the company’s history. Apple started out making computers. After it hit a rough patch in its trajectory, former CEO Steve Jobs reinvented the company and took it to new heights. Apple eventually introduced new computers, iPhones and iPads to its product line, as well as other electronic devices and accessories. Today, Apple has a market value of approximately $700 billion and is one of the most recognizable names on the planet.

Reuters reported that Apple is now looking into developing a self-driving electric car. An anonymous source told the media outlet that Apple has has been engaged in talks with car makers, experts and automotive suppliers. It seems the company is collecting information on production methods and exploring how it will bring its automated electric car to life. Based on this information, the futuristic self-driving car only seen in science fiction movies may soon become a reality. 

“Fully automated driving is an evolution. Carmakers will slowly build the market for autonomous cars by first releasing connected and partially automated cars,” said the anonymous source. “Apple is interested in all the potential ways you can evolve the car; that includes autonomous driving.”

Tech companies going automotive might be an upcoming trend
Time reported that Apple assigned several hundred employees to work on the development of an electric vehicle. Code-named “Titan,” the automobile project seems to be receiving significant attention, both from within and outside the company. The news source noted that Apple is well-known for investigating potential products but, ultimately, not releasing them. Despite this fact, the Apple car, however, will most likely be unveiled at some point.

Reuters noted that car technology is a growing area of interest for Silicon Valley. Google recently built a prototype self-driving car and Tesla Motors has already established itself in the electric car space. Perhaps Microsoft is secretly working on a Windows car – who knows? 

The implications of Apple making electric cars
Considering Apple’s history, making electric cars is probably a good move for the company. The introduction of the iPhone revolutionized the way people use smartphones and catapulted Apple into technology stardom. People are increasingly expecting every aspect of their life to be facilitated by some electronic device. We live in the age of smartwatches, mobile payments, e-commerce shopping and seamless connectivity. Cars that run on electricity, know our driving routes, play our favorite music and self-adjust seat positions might be the next big thing.

It will most likely be a few years before Apple can release its own branded car into the market, but in the meantime, technology will just keep on getting smarter and more ubiquitous. For small and medium size businesses looking to learn from Apple’s example, the takeaway is digital innovation. Companies today should constantly evaluate how they can offer their customers more services that are facilitated by the internet and technology. A small retailer looking to gain a competitive edge may not want to start inventing new products, but creating a digital catalog and accepting electronic payments would be a good place to start.

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