There are without a doubt big shifts in the car manufacturing industry, not least of those being the increasing uptake of electric vehicles, development of autonomous and driverless technology and connected cars.
At the very least, most motorists today would have on their new car wishlist what we now consider to be standard features such as music and entertainment systems created by big tech companies like Apple and Google.
A new survey however suggests that for quite a few Australian drivers, buying a vehicle that is made entirely by high tech giants such as Apple or Google is on the cards.
The survey, conducted by insurance company BudgetDirect, polled 1010 Aussie drivers and asked them would they consider purchasing a high-tech car made by Google or Apple, to which 28% of those surveyed said yes.
Men were more interested in the idea of buying a car from a tech giant as opposed to an established automaker, with 34% saying they’d be open to the idea.
Women were not as enthused, but 22% still expressed an interest in the idea, motoring.com.au reports.
While there are reports that Google’s Waymo has in fact bought 20,000 electric SUVs for its driverless car project, Apple has already dipped its own toes in the electric vehicle development game – and they may now be at it again.
The computer and smartphone giant had previously started development on an electric car under the codename ‘Titan’ back in 2015, and this was originally reported to be released in 2019.
However, by October 2016 media reports saw Apple pull back on Project Titan, with rumours leaking from Apple that hundreds of employees working on the project were reassigned to other tasks.
Making electric cars is not always smooth sailing, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk can attest.
This week however, Apple appears to be toying with the idea of returning to its EV project with the rehire of former VP of Mac Hardware Engineering Doug Field who had previously left to go and work for EV maker Tesla.
The news was revealed by Apple commentator John Gruber, who wrote, “I think it’s an interesting hire, primarily because it suggests to me that Apple still has an interest in making actual vehicles, despite reports that the company has scaled back the project to merely make autonomous systems for inclusion in vehicles made by other companies.”
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.