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German Report Says 'Apple Car' Could Arrive in Form of Electric Van

The so-called "Apple Car" may not be a car after all, but rather an electric van, according to German site Manager Magazin.

LiDAR-equipped Apple Maps vehicle in 2015

The report, loosely translated below, claims Apple's industrial design group has designed prototypes of the van with black and silver finishes:
After that, the Apple Car could come in the form of an electric van. Apple's engineers have designed specimens with black and silver paint, designed in the typical industrial design of the iPhone group. Apple also researches on its own batteries, electric motors, special seats and interior components.
Last year, The New York Times reported that Apple had signed a deal to use Volkswagen vans as self-driving shuttles to transport employees around its various campuses and office buildings in the San Francisco Bay Area. It's possible the vans could be designed by Apple and manufactured by Volkswagen.

The context of this report really depends on how ambitious Apple's plans are. Early reports suggested that Apple was developing an electric vehicle under the codename Project Titan, but later reports have suggested that Apple may be focused on the underlying electric and self-driving technologies only.

Apple recently hired former Tesla lead engineer Doug Field to lead the project alongside longtime Apple executive Bob Mansfield. Last month, Apple reportedly removed more than 200 employees from the team, but Apple said "we continue to believe there is a huge opportunity with autonomous systems."

In any case, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple is unlikely to release a vehicle until 2023 to 2025.

Apple already uses a fleet of LiDAR-equipped vans to collect mapping data, as part of its efforts to improve Apple Maps. Each van is equipped with an iPad and a Mac Pro to assist the drivers with surveying streets and neighborhoods.

Via: Reuters

Related Roundup: Apple Car


Top Rated Comments

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27 weeks ago
The Apple car turns out to be a custom shuttle bus for Apple Park.
Rating: 27 Votes
27 weeks ago
Why even bother? Tesla is going to be far ahead of any car Apple could put out. They've missed their chance.
Rating: 20 Votes
27 weeks ago
Because nothing is more trendy or cool then a van.
Rating: 19 Votes
27 weeks ago

You want a sports car I suppose? What you driving now?

Check out the Mercedes Marco Polo - It is one cool van.


The whole point is you wont be driving it. You’ll “hey Siri get me a car,” one rolls up, you throw your stuff in it and get in, it takes you where you are going, and you get out. You are automatically charge with Apple Pay, you don’t have to park it, the car goes and gets someone else, and you move on with your life.
Rating: 14 Votes
27 weeks ago

Why even bother? Tesla is going to be far ahead of any car Apple could put out. They've missed their chance.

Said everyone in 2006 at the prospect of Apple making their own phone. Why even bother? The cell phone market is mature. There are so many big players already like Nokia, Blackberry, Palm, Sony and Motorola. Those companies are going to be the top phone makers forever. Nothing will ever surpass Windows Mobile, Symbian and Blackberry OS. Apple is too late to the game! They've missed their chance.
Rating: 12 Votes
27 weeks ago

Why even bother? Tesla is going to be far ahead of any car Apple could put out. They've missed their chance.

As a Tesla owner, i disagree.
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Because nothing is more trendy or cool then a van.

I seriously doubt they ever sell a car. They will operate a fleet as part of a subscription. Like Uber meets iTunes.
Rating: 11 Votes
27 weeks ago
Report says Apple Car Could Arrive in Form of Pumpkin...
Rating: 6 Votes
27 weeks ago

The whole point is you wont be driving it. You’ll “hey Siri get me a car,” one rolls up, you throw your stuff in it and get in, it takes you where you are going, and you get out. You are automatically charge with Apple Pay, you don’t have to park it, the car goes and gets someone else, and you move on with your life.


That is EXACTLY what the future of self-driving cars will look like. If you own such a car, you might want to turn it into a driving office (when driving to work) or into a living room with a home theater (when driving home from work) or just a rolling bar. However you're going to use it, you won't be using it as a traditional car because driving and steering the vehicle yourself won't even appear on your radar screen. It will about doing something fun or useful (or even sleeping) during the commute. So, yeah, a self-driving van would make PERFECT sense.
Rating: 5 Votes
27 weeks ago

Why would you bet against a van?

Think about the design challenges:

Battery weight.
Safety. Range. Cargo. Autonomous.

One great solution could be a van. Oh ok, you maybe don’t like the word van. How about “SUV”. Lol. Same thing. These days instead of the Chrysler magic wagon people are driving an Audi G7 and pretending it’s not a magic wagon

Someday you might hop in the back of the van and laydown for a sleep on the couch bed and tell it to take you to Las Vegas Bellagio.


There is a reason the new New York taxis looks like vans. Easy entry, lots of cargo room, good safety, lots of interior space. These are cars you won’t drive, so no reason for everyone to be facing forward in rows. These are cars you wont own, so no reason to look “sexy.”
Rating: 4 Votes
27 weeks ago

Why even bother? Tesla is going to be far ahead of any car Apple could put out. They've missed their chance.

Yeah, Tesla is just killing it from a profitability and sales perspective...

Tesla is entirely potential. The amount of cars they sell is incredibly small and they have lost money almost every quarter. Subsidies for electric cars are expiring and competition is going to be intense.

Electric vehicles are not a concept Honda, BMW, Mercedes, Toyota, GM, and Ford don't understand.

I'm not saying Tesla is a dead company. I'm saying they aren't dominating anything at the moment and there are other FAR more competent car companies.

Tesla's factory is an outdated rig Toyota didn't want anymore. You think Tesla is advanced in manufacturing? Go watch a BMW being produced.
Rating: 4 Votes

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