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Offline G

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Apple's iCar or whatever..
« on: August 07, 2015, 02:43:06 PM »
So Apple has been hiring a shit load of automotive engineers and there is speculation about what they are doing... well I have a theory and I want to get it down early, so when I am proved right in 5 years time I will have some proof to my claim of "told you so"...

So, everyone hates public transport because it is full of psychos/muggers/stinky-mad-women/farters/leary-old-men/flashers etc.

The vast majority of people dont really give that much of a shit about cars. You can see this by simply looking at the vehicles on the road. Who the fuck buys a Juke or a Fiat500x or any of those other hideous things I see on the road all the time. They just want a comfy safe place to sit and use their phone, hopefully without getting caught or crashing.

So here is what Apple are going to do.

You (and I obviously dont mean you here, but all the millions of people living in the suburbs who drive to Malls and offices with parking) will buy a CarPod. This will be a very stylish little caravan type thing with your choice of seats that turn into beds and telly screens and curtains and all sorts of other customisable shit. It will have a modest battery kept topped up by a solar panel on the roof, that can power AC or heating and top up your phone or whatever.
This pod will have little extendable legs underneath to keep it up off the ground and will cost you just a few thousand dollars.

When you want to go somewhere, you will take out your iphone (or speak into your iwatch if anyone ever buys one) and say "Hey pod, I need to be at xxxxx by 5pm" (obviously you may already have booked this appointment in your calendar so no need to say anything).

Apple's software will work out when you need to leave based on traffic etc and tell you to get in your carpod sometime before the necessary departure time, and the AC or heating will already have got the inside a nice temperature for you. Meanwhile it will allocate a "trolley" which will be a big flat four wheel thing like a Tesla drivetrain and battery pack arranged as a big flat platform. This "trolley" will arrive at your carpod, roll underneath, tell the pod to retract its legs and the two will dock together securely like a shipping container on a truck.

The trolley will then whisk you off to your destination.

If your destination is a few miles away, then it will just drop your pod off in a car park and fuck off to charge itself or move someone else's pod. If your destination is half way across the country then it will take you as far as it can, at which point another trolley will be ready to take over.

You wont own a trolley, just pay for your miles. You will never have to think about fuel/charging, tyre wear, servicing, punctures, tax etc etc.

So imagine you live in the Suburbs of Chicago and need to go to Buffalo for a 9am meeting.

Instead of going to the airport the day before, flying there, going to a hotel, getting up early and then heading to the meeting, you just climb into your pod at bed-time the night before, lay back your seat and go to sleep. While you are asleep, a trolley comes and picks you up, and a series of trolleys takes you to Buffalo while you sleep. When your iphone wakes you up in the morning you are "parked" outside a hotel which through an agreement with Apple lets you use an empty room to have a shower and get dressed, you eat breakfast there and get back in your pod which takes you to the meeting.

So instead of being stuck on a plane with what can only be classed as "other cunts" you have a nice snooze in your own little pod that has your favourite snacks and comfy slippers etc..


Pods can also be sent to take children to school/hockey-practice/friend's-houses or to pick up shopping etc


This all obviously needs a few changes in the law (luckily Apple have a lot of lobbying power) like being able to sleep in a bed while travelling without needing a seatbelt (big airbags instead) and being allowed to park a "pod" in the street, but it's all pretty minor.

As battery and motor technology improves Apple can update the trolley to have a longer range etc, but this wont matter to you. Apple will make money for every mile you travel, and no doubt be able to offer new pods with better soundproofing, satellite internet, showers and toilets etc as demand dictates.

TLDR: Apple iCar will be like shipping containers for people. Will you buy one? (pretty sure I would)

:)
G.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 02:47:09 PM by G »
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Offline alaskun

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Re: Apple's iCar or whatever..
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2015, 02:56:04 PM »
pneumatic tubes or bust

in the future people will be astonished at the kind of choices we've had, at the different styles, the fact that we were allowed to steer/brake/accelerate on our own... will roads disappear to the extent that horse trails have?

Offline Stoked

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Re: Apple's iCar or whatever..
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2015, 03:10:42 PM »
Will everyone get lost using maps?
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Offline condrbkr

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Re: Apple's iCar or whatever..
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2015, 03:26:16 PM »
I don't know you had me till you mentioned the trolley system which seems too in the future.

Offline jaythomas

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Re: Apple's iCar or whatever..
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2015, 03:27:11 PM »
Will everyone get lost using maps?

step 1. buy icar
step 2. download google maps

Offline condrbkr

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Re: Apple's iCar or whatever..
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2015, 08:17:16 PM »
I could definitely see Apple making an Uber but with self driven cars though.

They've been sitting on A LOT of money while churning out run of the mill products for the last decade. Apple plays the future game so saving up for something like this would definitely be sensible.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 08:19:26 PM by condrbkr »

Offline Prodigal Son

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Re: Apple's iCar or whatever..
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2015, 12:18:04 AM »
I think your ascertation of the situation is a little too individualized. I feel like it's going to be intended for Los Gatos and Palo Alto apple employees. I can imagine them having no separation from life and work. A little Tesla bus that is programmed to find its employees at their homes or coffee shops and take them back to the apple campus.

Offline G

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Re: Apple's iCar or whatever..
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2015, 06:36:36 AM »
I think your ascertation of the situation is a little too individualized. I feel like it's going to be intended for Los Gatos and Palo Alto apple employees. I can imagine them having no separation from life and work. A little Tesla bus that is programmed to find its employees at their homes or coffee shops and take them back to the apple campus.

Google etc already have buses to pick workers up with coffee etc on board.

My prediction would be based on selling to middle class families and young professionals. Your average person/family/couple in these categories probably spends $3k+ a year on car related stuff (depreciation, interest, servicing, insurance, fuel etc) as a conservative estimate. Apple could have a big slice of this, but only if the product can COMPLETELY replace the car. So you could probably book a more powerful trolley with a trailer if you need to haul stuff or even a full size truck type thing if you are moving house!

For people who don't have a driveway you could probably skip owning a pod and just book one for a journey, and it would come from the same hub that services the trolleys having been thoroughly cleaned by some sort of robot.

This is all technology that is 99% there, it really wouldn't be that much of a leap to make it happen now, but on the timescales of the Auto industry now would be the time to start if it was going to launch in 2020...

:)
G.
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Offline MEAT

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Re: Apple's iCar or whatever..
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2015, 06:49:01 AM »
It's a big step from making computer boxes and running an online music shop, to fundamentally changing transport and car ownership. That said I don't think you're wrong,  but I don't think they'll succeed.

Offline Prodigal Son

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Re: Apple's iCar or whatever..
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2015, 09:32:32 AM »
The real question is how to sell an updated model every year?

Offline Dr. Steve Brule

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Re: Apple's iCar or whatever..
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2015, 10:21:14 AM »
Sounds about right G. In the future owning a car will be a thing of the past, you'll pay a monthly contract like a phone and get picked up as and when.

Offline Hank Chinaski

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Re: Apple's iCar or whatever..
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2015, 01:31:20 PM »
Sounds about right G. In the future owning a car will be a thing of the past, you'll pay a monthly contract like a phone and get picked up as and when.

Can't see that happening here, at least not to replace the automobile completely. Car culture and driving is huge in America. I'd love to use that service but I could never go without a car.
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Offline medusa.cascade

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Re: Apple's iCar or whatever..
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2015, 01:42:39 PM »

Offline Narcoleptic Insomniac

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Re: Apple's iCar or whatever..
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2015, 02:39:11 PM »
I hate owning a car so this would be kind of cool. On the other hand I can't help but think that structuring our society around a technology like this would cause us to live even more isolated lives and detach ourselves from each other even more.

Offline G

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Re: Apple's iCar or whatever..
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2015, 06:13:22 AM »
Yes it will quite possibly make people more insular (though I think you could also argue that with the owner not needing to give their attention to the road they could converse more freely with their passengers and if there is only one person in a car it isnt very sociable anyway) but Apple wont give a shit about that.

And I'm not saying that this will take over straight away. There will still be people who love driving and car culture. But even if you own a sweet Porsche you may not want to drive it everyday on a boring commute stuck in stop go traffic, when you could be having a cuppa and watching new Stampy videos on a full size computer in an autonomous car.

BUT; what will also happen, is that as autonomous vehicles become more common, the pressure will rise on people who want to drive themselves. Every car crash will become headline news and insurance for self-driving will sky rocket as insurance for autonomous cars plummets. Sooner or later there will be a move to ban people from driving themselves on the road unless a computer is able to monitor your driving and stop you getting into trouble.

The key difference here, is that while Google are looking at a Taxi type system, I think Apple will do something like what I describe because people want to "own" a car, that is theirs. They dont want to sit in a pool of vomit (or even be able to imagine that they are sitting where a pool of vomit was cleaned up from), but for most people what's under the floor and behind the dash is just an annoyance.
So by buying the space you sit in, you can control your environment completely, put in your favourite cushions, hell, you can have pot plants and maybe even a parrot or a cat in there if you want. If you are a workman you can have a pod with a little workshop in there, or all your tools. Get delivered to the job site in the morning and have access to everything you need without worrying about maintenance and fuel etc.

Apple can keep selling new pods in the same way that IKEA keep selling new furniture.

Pod1 has something like basic car seats with belts etc but you can spin the front seats round and have a little table between you and your passengers and do work etc.
Pod1s has a bigger boot/trunk and better wifi
Pod2 has seats that fold really flat and some new seat-belt innovation that makes this legal. Satellite internet for always on connection etc
Pod3 (launched after heavy lobbying of government) has fully fold flat beds and advanced airbags that make it OK to sleep without a seatbelt on. Better visibility and a viewing dome on the roof.
Pod4 intruduces a whole new level of comfort with seats that are more like home sofa's and sofabeds.
Pod5 introduces compatibility with the new longer wheelbase trolleys that allow a longer range and have hydropneumatic suspension for a more comfortable ride.
Pod6 uses innovative packaging design to make the most of the new longer trolleys to give more leg room, bigger boot space and room for a full size double bed and curtains etc...
Pod7 has a high enough roof to have a mirror ball and disco lighting.

And all the while they can do camper van versions, extendable ones, different sizes of trades vehicle bodies for locksmiths, auto mechanics, air conditioning repairers, kitchen fitters; burger vans, ice-cream trucks etc etc

They sell new phones every year just on the basis of a speed and screen increase, could do the same with pods where they can power more entertainment systems, or have massage chairs or any one of a million "upgrades" that you might have in your home.


One issue is that initially, there will be times when the computer might get stuck or confused.

When this happens, they will have "remote drive" where a guy in India can take remote control of the trolley to get it to a safe location or continue driving you until it clears the difficult bit or a replacement trolley can get to you.


If you put together what is out there already. Google's car, the military's autonomous army trucks and drones, tesla's cars then it is all very possible. You can roll it out in California initially and get a huge take up. If you are heading out of state then you can rent a car, and if you cover the whole state that would be "fine" for a hell of a lot of people. You can sell probably 5 pods for every trolley you make and get a huge adoption (probably as fast as you can make them). Then roll it out across the whole west coast, then east and finally virtually nationwide within 5 years. Canada would be easy, Most of Europe (outside actual city centres) would be easy, and by then you can have figured out a solution for people who dont have parking spaces. Probably a folding pod that is only a couple of feet long when not in use and can be stored in your yard with its own tiny wheels that are just enough to get it out on the street for trolley docking..

:)
G.
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Re: Apple's iCar or whatever..
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2015, 06:13:22 AM »

 

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