Apple has long been well-renowned as a truly innovative company. It sold masses of the iPhone, iPad and has even branched out into producing watches. As is well known, many of devices have pretty much changed the world, with a vast swathe of people having one in their pocket or backpack.
The California-based company could be set increase its footprint even further and have a huge impact on global mobility, by introducing a self-driving, electric car.
The rise of the machines
Apple's longtime sparring partner Google has been developing a driverless vehicle for some time, and it's perhaps this fact that has spurred the company on. While the project has remained secretive, documents acquired by the Guardian suggested that Apple's 'iVehicle' could be on the road in a little under 4 years.
— Mashable (@mashable) September 22, 2015
One of the biggest barriers to any new marque trying to make a play in the automotive space is the sheer costs involved. Tesla founder Elon Musk has complained that his company is struggling to truly ramp up production of its fleet due to the amount of capital needed.
In fact, research from the Wall Street Journal explained that the average cost of an automotive production facility is a cool US$1 billion. However, that's unlikely to be an issue for Apple as the company has a staggering $178 billion in reserve that it can put toward new projects.
Apple meets California officials to discuss self-driving car http://t.co/nqnbJNG5Wp
— Guardian Tech (@guardiantech) September 18, 2015
A high-end vehicle?
While no clues have been given away yet as to the size or capabilities of the vehicle, there's a good chance that Apple will be pursuing a premium offering in efforts to bring its latest endeavour in line with its other products.
The use of an electric powertrain is likely, thanks to the environmental benefits.
The use of an electric powertrain is a near-certainty, thanks to the environmental benefits this offers. Will Apple change the world and eliminate the need for trips to the service station and fuel cards, too?
Well, all things considered, that seems incredibly unlikely. However, as the company has no history in the automotive space, the wider industry will be keen to see whether Apple can truly make an impact.
If it manages to blend the technological usability of its existing products with a driverless, electric vehicle, success could be on the horizon. Those are all big 'ifs' though, and only time will tell whether the Californian giant can really leave its mark on personal transportation.