You might say that Steve Jobs’ best attribute was to think outside-the-box, and to come up with stuff other entrepreneurs hadn’t thought of. He used to say: “Our job is to figure out what consumers want before they do”. Then he must be irritated beyond belief somewhere up or out there about what’s going on with Apple. In personal communication the iPhone won over consumers and made Apple the world’s richest company. You would expect something similar to happen in personal mobility, that infinitely bigger market. Look, car makers have difficulty bringing an affordable, electric car to the masses. Their electric cars are bulky, need a lot of batteries, are therefore costly. They need to be subsidized (EV tax credits), don’t tackle congestion, don’t address Climate Change.

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With regard to self-driving, common sense would be to start with the human head, then gradually work yourself ‘down’ towards vehicle autonomy, instead of ‘wishfully engineering’ the other way around. Look, billions of brain cells multiplied by tens of thousands of synapses in each individual brain make for more instant connections than there are stars in 20 to 40 thousand galaxies. Housed in a roundish ‘cockpit’ capable of swiveling (human head), equipped with two amazingly effective optic and ditto hearing sensors (eyes, ears) and a hard-drive full of constantly updatable lessons, topped off by the human intuition, they enable us to split-sec reference what we see, hear and feel. Hard to beat those, if ever. But Nooo. Apple has probably spend hundreds of millions on hiring ‘inside-the-box’ engineers on the basis of their expertise on the square inch, to try to fit autonomous tech in some sort of Apple-flavored (read: Bang & Olufsen-styled) SUV… Undoubtedly tasteful, but still a SUV.

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Apple iCar — Best savored pear-shaped? I’d like to think so. Look, global car sales are around 90 million each year. This means that annually committing 1 out of every 1000 prospective car buyers suffices to have a viable production. Urbanites, early-adopters, two-car households, singles, couples, greenies and techies already form a bigger target group. To begin with, around 60 percent (and growing) of the world population live in an urban environment, where space and breathable air comes at a price…

Apple reinvented music publishing and the telephone. Anything less when it comes to personal mobility, and it will underline that Apple has lost its mojo…

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Identify how high-tech bypasses common sense to sell us a solution that frequently misses the point | country: Netherlands

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