The technology giant’s reported interest in developing a car might actually be a sign of the things to come, say entrepreneurial experts, with Silicon Valley companies seeking access into the mapping technology business.
You might wonder what have maps to do with Apple’s “Project Titan” – which is reportedly a minivan-like electric car. Well, you should look beyond the appearances – by the time that car might actually make it onto roads – in five to seven years – autonomous cars might actually be an every day reality, with hints that Apple would also incorporate such features already on their way. And there’s one thing a driverless car needs to make sure it’s safe – accurate maps. “People are going to start buying cars because of the embedded technology,” comments Peter Adriaens, a professor at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “Tech companies are sending a signal that the value now in the car is the technology.” Besides Apple and its alleged self-driving capable electric car, Nokia and Uber – oh yeah, don’t forget about Google as well – are all turning their attention towards autonomous cars.
Nokia for example has 300 Here True vehicles in cities all around the world that have mapping duties. And the Finnish company’s mapping systems can already be found in numerous cars around the globe. Uber on the other hand has partnered with the Carnegie Mellon University, in a bid to work with the latter’s CMU National Robotics Engineering Center “primarily in the areas of mapping and vehicle safety and autonomy technology.” Traditional car companies are also mindful of the situation – for example Ford has recently opened a 25,000 square foot innovation and mobility center in Palo Alto, California.