I’m sad we’ll never see an Apple car but here’s why it’s a good thing for EVs

Apple is rumoured to have canned its car project and we may never see what the Apple car could have looked but this could be the best thing for CarPlay

Mockup of the future of CarPlay
(Image credit: Apple)

It seems that Apple has finally pulled the plug on its plans to create a car. The project has been rumored to have been in the making for years though not even a prototype has ever been officially released. 

Building cars is hard, even when you’re the biggest tech company in the world. Apple knew that if it was going to come out with an electric car it had to be the best. The best looking, the most advanced specifications and the best performance. Which in all is an impossible task. 

Anything less than amazing would have seen the product panned by car enthusiasts and Apple fans alike. It would have been compared against a market that already has some pretty special cars in it. Would it beat a Tesla 3? Could it our perform a Porsche Taycan? Is it as modern as a Rivian?

Competing on this level meant that the project continued in secret. Recently we heard that it would not have the fully autonomous driving that was originally touted, but then just yesterday Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that the whole thing had been canned – just days before the shareholder meeting. 

Rivian R2

Rivian is planning a new R2 model that certainly has Apple vibes

(Image credit: Rivian)

I’ve been excited at the concept of an Apple car since I first heard rumblings of its inception. Apple’s design style promised something that would be modern and classy with its ecosystem built in, allowing full integration rather than the surface layer that CarPlay offers on other models. 

So knowing that we may now never see even the workings of the Apple car project is a huge disappointment. However, there is hope that Apple’s loss is other car company’s gain. 

The expansion of Apple CarPlay has already promised to go deeper into the car dynamics, even providing a dash display as an option. So far we’ve not seen any manufacturers taking this up, choosing instead to continue to hone their own OS systems. 

But now Apple won’t be directly competing on car sales, maybe some manufactures will consider letting the Apple ecosystem under the hood of their next models. With the exception of maybe two or three brands, Apple CarPlay beats most proprietary car infotainment offerings hands down. So, adopting a fully integrated Apple platform would be an improvement for the driver, and a big selling point too. 

In the same way that Android Automotive is built into the Polestar, I’d love an EV that has Apple CarPlay as a native platform. Put this into a car that already has great performance and style and you have a winning formula. 

Mat Gallagher

As T3's Editor-in-Chief, Mat Gallagher has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. He has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing, Hong Kong and Chicago is now based in the UK. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, Apple, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.