By now you have likely heard that Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, is looking to advance the company’s driverless car venture. This admission is truly exciting since software will play a monster role in the advancement of this project. Despite the idea that developing self-driving cars is itself massive in its own right, Apple may (more importantly) be looking at how this technology could help them open the door for a truly connected experience for consumers, something that completely alters the mobility experience as we know it through augmented reality, blockchain and digital twin technology (an idea I recently discussed here).
While the media zeroed in on Apple looking to help create a more user-friendly and accessible mobility experience (something the company is notorious for doing with their products), what you may have missed is Cook saying that autonomous vehicles are “the mother of all artificial intelligence projects”. For the record, Cook didn’t blatantly suggest his company will actually be building its own car in the future. However, he did something so amazing that all automakers should be paying close attention to - he officially lifted the veil of secrecy around Apple’s interest in self-driving cars. This was a monumental endorsement for artificial intelligence (AI) technology by Apple, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves and expect our cars to take us to the mall, soccer practice or home from work - not yet anyway.
By Cook’s own admission, AI technology for self-driving cars is the most difficult AI project to work on. I couldn’t agree more. Innovation is steering the auto industry towards automation, personalization and integration via a driverless mobility future, yet there are many obstacles. In fact, here are 31 challenges I listed on LinkedIn in which I believe Apple and others need to overcome to dominate self-driving cars, or at least make this product a success.