Now that the car is evolving into essentially a smartphone on wheels, it’s no wonder Apple is kicking the tires.
First, there is the transition from internal combustion engines to electric motors, which have far fewer mechanical parts. Now, enabled by that change, a second shift is under way—one that’s a prerequisite for a self-driving future.
For a century, the automobile was a system of interoperating mechanics: engine, transmission, drive shaft, brakes, etc. As those mechanics evolved, electronic sensors and processors were brought in to assist them, but the concepts changed little. The result was cars with dozens or hundreds of specialized microchips that didn’t talk to each other. Now that auto makers are moving to electric motors, elaborate entertainment systems and adaptive cruise control, cars need central computers to control all these things—why not use them to control everything?
At the hardware level, this might just mean fewer chips