By Emmanuel Elebeke
CHIEF Executive Officer, Apple Inc., Tim Cook has revealed that he sees three vectors of change in the automotive sector, in the shape of autonomy, electrification, and ride-hailing.
Combined, he said, they will bring about a major disruption in the industry with the technology behind the imminent self driving cars. “Apple is specifically focusing on autonomous systems for cars. It is a core technology that we view as very important. We see it as the mother of all Artificial Intelligence, AI projects. It is probably one of the most difficult AI projects actually to work on,” Cook said.
In the past, Apple has been considered to be foot-dragging. It failed to capitalize on its early successes with Siri, and most of its later consumer products to use AI still play second fiddle to those produced by Google and Facebook. But the recent appointment of the firm’s first AI director, Ruslan Salakhutdinov, suggests that could change.
Cook’s description of Apple’s work on autonomous systems in the automotive sector appears to be deliberately vague, he further stated that the technologies that Apple is working on may include self-driving cars, but he also said that there are others he opts not to expand on.
Nonetheless, Apple indicated that it is clearly working with sensors and AI software for autonomous vehicles. ‘‘Though, I do not commit to what the result of all this secretive work from Apple might look like. We are not really saying from a product point of view what we will do,” Cook explained.
He however scorned other tech firms for selling futures rather than real products. “We are not going to go through things we’re going to do in 2019, ’20, ’21. It’s not because we don’t know, It is because we don’t want to talk about that,” he said.