Apple Driving Forward with Self-Driving Car Software

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The race to provide the first autonomous car continues, and it’s not just the big car companies getting in on the action. Leading technology companies, including our favourite Apple, are actively seeking ways to develop software that can make this somewhat futuristic service a workable reality. And with competition high, it appears it won’t be long until the future is here!

Apple has openly talked about its focus on the automotive industry, uncharacteristic for the company who likes to surprise us all with its new products and services.

Tim Cook, back in June 2017, stated: “It’s a core technology that we view as very important. We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects. It’s probably one of the most difficult AI projects to actually work on.”

The company had previously dipped its toes in creating the cars themselves, but the project was put on hold until managers could prove its feasibility. Well, they must have proven just that because recent news from the rumour mill indicates that Apple has been steadily growing its fleet of self-driving vehicles over the last year. Testing on the roads of North California, recent reports from the California DMV highlight that Apple has 55 Lexus-model vehicles – equipped with autonomous driving software developed by the organisation and a safety driver – out on the roads.

But, as every company continues to make strides in its software, how does Apple leave its iconic, unique stamp on the budding industry? Apple, who pride themselves on quality customer experience, are approaching the concept of autonomous cars in its characteristic, ‘out of the box’ way by filing patents for VR experiences. One example includes the ‘drive of the dead’ experience where passengers of self-driving cars can enjoy a zombie attack on their commutes. Well, it’s certainly one way to wake up in the morning!

It would work through windowless cars, where windows are replaced by interior screens displaying footage that mirrors the motions of the vehicle, while also utilising powerful sound systems and “active seats” that mimic turbulence and collisions. The interactivity of the system will allow the passenger to experience a real-life, heart-pumping get-away in an apocalyptic, zombie wasteland, before returning to reality. Something of interest for the gamers and horror-fanatics amongst us, but most certainly not for your Nan!

Of course, this won’t be the only option for passengers, with other experiences including hang-gliding, historical city views and a trip down a lazy river. For the more serious, VR headsets can allow you to attend virtual meetings with colleagues or clients, leaving you to make the most of all that free time.

Providing such VR entertainment experiences, Apple is aiming to relieve the boredom passengers will inevitably feel when the pressures of driving won’t be a factor, as well as the motion sickness some may be afflicted with when there is no road to focus on. It’s a clever way to make their name in the growing industry, considering that many of its competitors are looking to do it through unremarkable ways such as providing hardware like sensors and cameras – yawn!

Whilst we may be some time off from immersing ourselves in these Apple-made scenarios, you can still have access to the latest technology Apple offers in its Mac systems. It doesn’t have to cost the Earth either, with fully-refurbished, second-hand MacBooks for sale with MacBank; everyone can enjoy the latest Apple experiences. Browse our store today, or for more information, get in touch with our team.

Image credit: Rosenfeld Media