Few people know whether an Apple Car really exists, Ford included – but the US motor giant is taking it as truth nonetheless.
The CEO of Ford has revealed that the car-maker has a “working assumption” that a vehicle built by Apple is in development.
Speaking to the BBC, Mark Fields said that he really has “no idea” whether Apple is creating a car:
“I read what everybody else reads in the paper. Our working assumption is that they are, and that again provides us the right motivation to make sure that we stay very focused, not only on the product, but overall on the experience that the customer has.”
“There’s a lot of traditional competitors that we have in our business who we know and respect,” the Ford CEO explained. “There’s a lot of new non-traditional competitors, who are looking at the automotive space and looking at that addressable market and saying ‘Gee, can we get a piece of that?’”
Fields said that having prospective rivals in the car technology space is good for innovation.
“From our standpoint, we’re looking at a number of the technological changes in the industry, and we’re viewing that as an opportunity, not as a threat,” said Fields.
When asked about a prospective partnership with Google, Fields said that there aren’t any plans right now, but added:
“There’ll be some things that we do on our own to be able to satisfy those customer needs that technology enables, and at other times we’ll partner with others, and that’s the reason we set up a big research and innovation centre in Palo Alto, because we want to collaborate with, and participate in, that environment.”
Speaking to TrustedReviews earlier this year, Don Butler, Ford's Executive Director for Connected Vehicles, tipped the Apple Car for success:
"We welcome others joining. We welcome the activity that's in the space. We think it's exciting. It's actually changed that we are embracing. So I think Apple can do it. I think Google can do it."
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The Apple Car is one of the most hotly-rumoured innovations in technology, but Apple has been predictably quiet on the matter in public.
Nonetheless, evidence that suggests the Apple Car is real has been mounting for months, and it’s looking ever likelier that Apple has a secret automotive project in the works.
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What would you like to see from an Apple Car? Let us know in the comments.