Upsetting the Apple car

19th of February 2015

APPLE’S ability to make desirable iGadgets designed for easy portability is beyond question. Reports emerged this week that it is planning to make a mobile device that will instead carry its users—an electric car. Apple’s plans are unclear and unconfirmed. By some accounts it has put a few hundred people to work developing cars to match Tesla, another Silicon Valley firm that makes fast and luxurious battery-powered saloons. Others reckon that it is working on a self-driving car.Plenty of other tech firms are turning their attention to cars. In February Uber, a firm that provides taxis through a smartphone app, said it would set up a laboratory in Pittsburgh to develop self-driving taxis. Sony recently put money into ZMP, a self-driving car startup; Google has been working for years on driverless cars. Silicon Valley is eyeing up the auto industry for two reasons. One is that technology—in the form of electric cars, driver-assistance systems and fully autonomous cars—is already altering the industry. Another is that carmakers themselves look vulnerable, thanks to chronic overcapacity, hefty legacy costs and a spate of damaging recalls.

The Economist