Apple CEO predicts ‘massive change’ coming to autonomous driving

apple car concept

Apple CEO Tim Cook is one of the few people in the technology industry who have an uncanny insight into the future of technology so little wonder his vague hints at his company’s next moves are being carefully scrutinized by pundits and examined for meaning.

When it comes to the automobile industry, Cook has once again deflected iCar-related questions, refusing to acknowledge the existence of the company’s rumored electric car, dubbed Project Titan.

That, however, didn’t stop him from teasing that the car industry is at an “inflection point for massive change” during his interview last night at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.D Live conference in Laguna Beach, California.

The executive hesitated to discuss much about the rumored Apple-branded electric car project that should hit the market before the end of the decade and instead switched gears to talk about the power of software in today’s automobile industry.

“When I look at the automobile, what I see is that software becomes an increasingly important part of the car of the future,” he said.

“You see that autonomous driving becomes much more important,” Cook continued, adding that “it seems like there will be massive change” in that industry.

For the time being, Apple is focused on improving in-car iPhone experience with its CarPlay software—“We want people to have an iPhone experience in their car,” he said—teasing that at Apple, “We look at a lot of things.”

honda carplay 1

“Our model is to reduce that list to a few,” Cook said. “We will see what we do in the future. I do think that industry is at an inflection point for massive change, not just evolutionary change.”

Other tidbits from Cook’s yesterday talk with The Wall Street Journal editor Gerry Baker:

  • Apple will be taking pre-orders for the new Apple TV beginning next Monday, with first shipments expected toward the end of next week.
  • Apple Music has convinced approximately 6.5 million users to stay with the service as paying subscribers and currently has 8.5 million more customers on three-month trials
  • The health aspect of the Apple Watch “has a long product road map ahead.”

Cook wrapped up his fireside chat with Baker by stressing that Apple’s focus on innovation has not wavered following the death of Steve Jobs.

“Steve formed Apple to change the world. This was his vision. He wanted to give technology down to everyone and empower everyone to use it,” the CEO explained.

“He wanted to take it out of the glass house, the corporations, the rich people that had the technology. That is still our drive.”

Source: The Wall Street Journal