The Apple iCar That Will Never Be
Steve Jobs achieved world domination in his life.
There’s no doubt, through Apple, he changed the way we interact with our world and each other. The iMac, iPod, iPad and iPhone were all game-changing inventions from Apple. Could it be that Jobs wasn’t done with his world-changing ideas before he died in October 2011?
According to Apple board member Mickey Drexler, in an interview with Fast Company, Jobs had his sights on bringing his intuitive style and innovative technology beyond the computer industry and into the automotive industry.
“Look at the car industry; it’s a tragedy in America. Who is designing the cars?” Drexler said. “Steve’s dream before he died was to design an iCar.”
It’s hard for me to agree with the term “tragedy” when describing the state of the car industry here, but the thought of an “iCar” is pretty tantalizing. With Jobs’ passing, though, it’s unlikely an iCar will ever be a possibility. Should it have happened, there’s a good chance it would be like nothing anyone expected, but at the same time we’d all wonder why cars weren’t always designed that way.
As we all know, though, Apple is now in the hands of other people. So instead of some kind of genius iCar from Apple, all we are going to come close to getting is this:
Apple has been granted a patent for a steering-wheel-mounted remote control.
The patent describes a device that looks like the control wheel from an original iPod but mounted to a clamp that grabs your car’s steering wheel. Once attached, it would put control of your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad right at your steering-wheel-gripping fingertips.
Brilliant idea? Ummm…no.
I can’t imagine this is real, or that Apple would seriously consider an outdated, bulky clamp-on controller like this, especially considering there are so many iPod-capable technologies already incorporated in cars. It would be easier, and safer, to just use the controls on your device while driving. Plus, I’m pretty sure it’s illegal in most states to mount anything on your steering wheel.
If this is the kind of new product we can expect from Apple in the era after Jobs, I’m not impressed! A sleek, interactive and intuitive iCar could have been amazing. Since that’s not coming, though, I think it’s best for Apple to stay out of our cars.
Could Apple ever get into the automotive business? Should it?