How the Apple Car Could Transform the Auto Industry

What you should know

  • Gurman highlighted that around 2020, Apple‘s car design was akin to the Canoo Lifestyle Vehicle, featuring a unique rounded design that appeared to move forward constantly and was intended for full Level 5 autonomous driving.
  • The interior design of the Apple Car underwent several changes, aiming for a minimalist aesthetic with limo or private jet-like seats for four people, a large central television for videos and FaceTime, and iPad-sized screens suspended from the roof for controls.
  • Apple’s car project explored various designs, including one resembling the 1950s Volkswagen microbus (“Bread Loaf”), the 2017 Volkswagen ID Buzz prototype, and the Canoo Lifestyle Vehicle, with the latter design particularly exciting CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams.
  • The most recent design iteration of the Apple Car scaled back to Level 2 autonomy, necessitating the inclusion of a steering wheel and pedals, and featured gull-wing doors instead of sliding van doors. However, Apple ultimately decided not to proceed with the car project due to its complexity and financial challenges.

Full Story

Gurman dropped a bombshell about Apple’s automotive ambitions around 2020. Picture this: a vehicle with the charm of the rounded Canoo Lifestyle Vehicle. Oddly enough, it looked the same at both ends, giving off the illusion it was always moving forward. Gurman insisted it was unlike anything on the roads at that time. And yeah, it was gunning for full Level 5 autonomy. Imagine that!

Then, there was a twist. At one point, the Apple Car’s vibe was channeling the 2017 VW ID Buzz prototype. Apple’s interior design philosophy? Minimalist to the core. The seats? They screamed luxury, reminiscent of what you’d find in a limo or a private jet. Designed to pamper four lucky souls.

In some iterations, the interior boasted a massive TV. Perfect for binge-watching or FaceTime chats on the go. Above, iPads hung from the roof, offering control at your fingertips. And the AC? It was all about subtlety, gently wafting air along the edges, avoiding direct blasts to the face.

There was a nod to the past too. One Apple Car design was a throwback to the iconic 1950s Volkswagen microbus, affectionately dubbed the Bread Loaf internally. Another took cues from the 2017 Volkswagen ID Buzz prototype before VW even unveiled its concept. But then, the fourth design – inspired by the Canoo Lifestyle Vehicle – got the big guns excited. Tim Cook and Jeff Williams were all in.

But reality bites. The latest design scaled back to Level 2 autonomy. Hello, steering wheel and pedals. And those sliding van doors? Swapped out for gull-wing doors. Yet, in a twist of fate, it seems none of it will hit the roads. Despite the potential to revolutionize driving, much like the iPhone did for communication, Apple decided to pump the brakes. The project was far from ready, drowning in red ink and miles from the finish line. So, for now, it’s back to the drawing board, sticking to what they know best. But oh, what could have been, huh?

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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