Apple's Driverless Car Might Not Actually Be A Car
The tech and auto worlds are buzzing after Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) reportedly secured a permit to test an autonomous vehicle in California last week. It’s no secret Apple has been working on developing autonomous vehicle technology, but Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster said investors should keep expectations in check.
According to Munster, Apple may simply be developing software for driverless cars and may never bring an actual Apple Car to market.
Apple's track record suggests the company would likely prefer to develop both the software and the car itself, but Munster said that approach may not be practical for Apple.
Just The Software?
“In reality, the complexity of designing and manufacturing a vehicle may push the company to integrate deeply with an automotive partner or partners in an effort more similar to the Apple TV — plugging Apple’s technology into an existing product,” Munster explained.
Muster pointed out Apple already has all the components in place to develop a comprehensive automobile operating system: entertainment, voice assistance, navigation, image processing, security and third-party app integration.
Munster said Apple may take a look at established U.S. auto leaders Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and General Motors Company (NYSE: GM), as well as potential upstart competitors Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and decide focusing on driverless software is the best path forward.
Munster said Tesla and Google each already have a “multi-year lead” in driverless vehicle technology.
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