Apple is way too smart to be in a hurry. The company also has no problem figuring out exactly what it wants. Sure … Apple could make its own car. There’s nothing stopping it, and eventually, it may happen. But, we have to look at what exactly is the company’s primary goal here. Does Apple really care how we get from point A to point B?
YES! The people at Apple care a lot, but not in the way you may be thinking. Apple, and similar companies don’t necessarily care HOW we get there. What they do care about is exactly WHAT we do during our travels, and they care about our experiences, decisions, and habits.
In an interview this week about autonomous vehicles, Raja Chatila, a robotics expert and former president of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, told Mashable:
“When you control cars, you might also be able to collect… data about people who are in the streets. You have mobile cameras going on there — it’s like CCTV in cities, but it’s on the car. It’s another way to observe people and to know about their habits.”
Apple CarPlay is the first step in the process. Apple wants to do everything that it can to have access to everything that you do. We already communicate with our phones, tablets, computers, wristwatches and cars, all using virtual personal assistants like Siri. Google is soon releasing a a home assistant and Apple is reportedly following suit.
We are supposed to accept this, and not be concerned, as Apple has assured us that it is has employed “differential privacy” in iOS 10. The company promises that although it is watching you, it is not concerned with collecting individual data, but instead, it is compiling data associated with groups of people and trends. Apple needs a ton of information and understanding to make its AI, and soon enough, its autonomous technology, work better. The better the technology meets our needs, the more we will choose it over other options. Wired explained:
It’s “the statistical science of trying to learn as much as possible about a group while learning as little as possible about any individual in it.”
We have been saying continually that the car is the next mobile device. It’s simply a platform for all of the latest and greatest technology. We spend a lot of time in our cars, and until recently, it was one of the few places that we could consider semi-private. But self-driving cars will collect myriads of data about you, your surroundings, and others on the road and nearby. It will have to know your route, where and when you stop for food or coffee, your driving habits, where your kids go to school, when you leave work for a quick break, etc.
It seems kind of unfair really … Apple wants to know all of our little secrets, but the company keeps all of its secrets out of reach.