That question can be taken a couple of ways. The first is the wrong way. ‘Wherefore,’ in Shakespeare parlance, does not mean where, so the question is not ‘Where is Apple Car?‘ Instead, the second is, ‘wherefore‘ means why so the question really is more like, ‘Why is there Apple Car?‘ I ask the question because only Apple knows what is going on with Apple Car, but whatever it is, it’s looking more like what Google is doing with Google’s self-driving car project.
Nothing much. Yet.
Apple and Google (also known as Alphabet, the parent company for all things Google) are completely different creatures when it comes to products. Apple makes money the old fashioned way; it designs, builds, and distributes various electronic computer devices. Google makes money by selling advertising but provides users with free software to gather information used to sell to advertisers and improve their online advertising efforts.
Apple is secretive about product plans, and for obvious reasons; hardware. Google is open about product ideas, but hasn’t done as well in the hardware business. Both companies are crazy profitable and both have hundreds of millions of, 1) customers, or, 2) users. They’re not the same but might be the same people. And both Apple and Google have worked on self-driving vehicle technology for years.
Why should there be an Apple Car or a Google Car? As much as we might like Apple’s design aesthetic in a car, or as much as it would be cool to summon a Google self-driving car to take us anywhere we want to go for free (just view the ads along the way), it won’t happen.
Most major automobile companies are working on their own electric cars, their own self-driving cars, and, obviously, their own software that controls those vehicles of the future. Apple and Google excel at software while automobile manufacturers do not, but the car business has moved forward with software faster than software companies– Apple and Google among others– have moved to manufacture their own vehicles.
The exception is Tesla, a relatively new car company with products that look and function as if Apple was the designer and manufacturer. Tesla, it seems, has one-upped both Apple and Google and already is churning out new models and making money.
Apple and Google are not.
So, what are Apple and Google doing and why? Google spun off the self-driving car project into Waymo, under the Alphabet umbrella, and despite seven years of accumulated research on the technology, does not appear poised to begin manufacturing a car, but instead has begun partnerships with others, notably Fiat Chrysler, one of the major car makers without an advanced self-driving project.
What of Apple? Where’s the money?
Supposedly, self-driving vehicles are the future, but Apple’s past has always been about hardware. Without an Apple Car, and there is little to indicate the company has the accumulated technical chops to pull off a Tesla, can the company make money selling software that resembles what every other carmaker already has?
I can see more Mac functionality showing up in iPhone and iPad. I can see more iPhone and iPad functionality showing up in Apple Watch, and down the road, Apple Glasses, but I don’t see an Apple Car in the future.