The Drive car news website published its list of the “The 10 Most Influential People in Automotive Technology.” Although Apple hasn’t released a car, or even any official news of the Apple Car Project Titan, Tim Cook and Jony Ive made the list.
Jony Ive is Apple’s chief design officer, and well-known for his auto infatuation. Of course, Tim Cook is the company’s CEO, who has become much more of a press maker recently with the FBI security battle.
The two icons didn’t rank at the top but fared very well for working for a company that doesn’t even produce a car. They both ranked ahead of others on the list that are officially in the vehicle business. Shockingly, Tim Cook took third and Jony Ive came in sixth.
Others on the list are the obvious major players like John Krafcik of Google’s (Alphabet) self-driving car project sitting at number one. As many might expect, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is number two on the list.
Drive provides some fun explanations for each choice
With smartphones having displaced wristwatches for many, a late-model iPhone is the best-designed thing they own. Ive’s work—via Apple’s blockbuster conferences, whose videos he narrates—introduced words like “chamfered,” “beveled,“ and “anodized” to a general American lexicon. Moreover, its cleanliness and iconoclasm—well illustrated in this scene from Legally Blonde—leads the tech pack. The best car interiors reflect that aesthetic beautifully.
Steve Jobs was more than a whip-cracking captain—his turtleneck, New Balances and enthusiastic presentations were the face of the company. No one envied his replacement. Still, Tim Cook has become a competent, if quieter hand at the helm of the world’s largest company, one whose reach—with Apple Carplay, Apple Watch-based car apps, and rumors of EV collaborations—extends ever deeper into the car world.
Crediting a notable tech designer and the CEO of the world’s top tech company as top automotive techies seems a bit of a stretch. However, everyday there is more information leading us (and obviously Drive) to believe that the Apple Car is on the way. There’s little doubt that these two will do it justice and leave no stone unturned.