| Cult of Mac

Cupertino recruits veteran Ford exec for Apple car team

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Ford took the Apple Car chief, now Cupertino takes another veteran leader from Ford.
Ford took the Apple car chief, now Cupertino takes another veteran leader from Ford.
Photo: Peter Trones/Unsplash License

Accelerating work on its self-driving electric vehicle project, Apple recruited veteran Ford engineer and executive Desi Ujkashevic to join the team.

The move comes after various stalls and road bumps in Cupertino’s secretive Project Titan in recent years, including Ford luring away Apple car chief Doug Field last year.

Today in Apple history: Apple teams with Volkswagen for iBeetle car

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The first Apple car, a collaboration with VW known as the iBeetle, rolls onto the scene.
The first Apple car, a collaboration with VW known as the iBeetle, rolls onto the scene.
Photo: Volkswagen

April 22: Today in Apple history: Apple teams with VW for the iBeetle. It's the first Apple car! April 22, 2013: The world gets its first Apple car. Well, kind of.

In reality, the iBeetle is a collaboration with German automaker Volkswagen that offers a car “stylistically linked” to Apple. This means Apple-inspired colors, a built-in docking station for your iPhone, and a special app that lets you control the car’s features.

Apple Car team was ‘dissolved’ but vehicle still coming in 2025

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Making a car could produce a massive windfall for Apple.
An Apple autonomous vehicle could still be on the road in just a few years, despite a reorg of the development team.
Photo: Possessed Photography/Unsplash CC

The group at Apple developing a self-driving electric car has been “dissolved for some time,” according to a reliable source of insider information. But the project supposedly hasn’t been canceled — it’s undergoing a reorganization.

This is likely a reflection of the many difficulties Apple has run into with this very complex project.

Apple tasks South Korean firm with building autopilot chips for its first car

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Apple's actual plans for car remain secretive, with a launch likely at least a couple years away.
Apple's actual plans for car remain secretive, with a launch likely at least a couple years away.
Photo: Vanarama

Apple will use autopilot chips built by a South Korean firm in its first self-driving car, according to a new report.

The two companies joined forces around a year ago and are said to be working on a chipset package that is likely to include a CPU, GPU, memory and imaging interface to “oversee AI computations.”

Incoming: New features in iOS 15.4, new gear at Apple’s March event [The CultCast]

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The CultCast: Face ID might play nice with masks in the near future. Better late than never!
Face ID might play nice with masks in the near future. Better late than never!
Photo: Julio Lopez/Unsplash license; Image: Killian Bell, Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: iOS 15.4 packs a punch with some fun and useful new features. It’s still just a beta, but it will give us lots of new emoji for our critical, high-level communications when it goes live. Plus, the beta includes a convenient new way to unlock your iPhone while wearing a face mask — just in time for the end of the pandemic! 🤞

Also on The CultCast:

  • An Apple event in March looks quite likely.
  • Mini-LED iMac Pro might be delayed.
  • An Apple car patent sheds light on an advanced sunroof.
  • How to download Wordle, just in case The New York Times screws up the popular game.
  • Donkey talk!

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video livestream, embedded below (down by the headlines and donkey links).

Hey Siri, darken the sunroof glass in my Apple Car

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This Apple Car concept is unrelated to the patent, but at least it shows a sunroof.
This Apple Car concept is unrelated to the patent, but at least it shows a sunroof.
Photo: Vanarama

The rumored Apple Car may not be on the verge of rolling off the assembly line, but someday a version of it may have sunroof glass that you can darken or lighten with the touch of a button or with a Siri command.

That’s according to a patent the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted Apple this week for a sunroof with variable-opacity glass. That means a driver could adjust its transparency.

What it will take to push Apple to $4 trillion

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Apple MacBook cash dollars money
Apple will be at a $4 trillion marker capitalization before you know it. Here’s why.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Two monumental events happened this week. Apple became the first U.S. company to be worth an astonishing $3 trillion. And a day later came the official end of BlackBerry — a series of phones that once dominated the market.

The collapse of BlackBerry is proof that today’s winners aren‘t inevitably tomorrow’s. While in the coming years Apple could become the first company to reach $4 trillion, it also could start down a path that ends in failure.

Here’s some of what Apple will do so it doesn’t end up like BlackBerry.

Smackdown: M1 MacBook Pro vs. $15,000 Mac Pro [The CultCast]

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The CultCast: M1 MacBook Pro vs. Mac Pro: The results will shock you!
The results will shock you!
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: Just how well does a new $3,500 M1 Max MacBook Pro perform against a $15,000 Mac Pro that’s only two years old? The results from the latest tests and benchmarks are simply insane.

Also on The CultCast:

  • Apple plans to make a totally autonomous car — with no steering wheel or pedals! And it might show up by 2025.
  • Leander’s Cult of Mac, 2nd Edition coffee table book is on sale for just $9.99.
  • And our favorite TV shows in an all-new “What We’re Into” segment.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video livestream, embedded below.

Apple aims to build self-driving car with no steering wheel

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Apple reportedly wants to eliminate the steering wheel and pedals from its autonomous vehicle.
Apple reportedly wants to eliminate the steering wheel and pedals from its autonomous vehicle.
Photo: Samuele Errico Piccarini/Unsplash CC

Apple is reportedly committed to making a car capable of driving completely autonomously. The new head of the project won’t be satisfied with a vehicle with only limited capabilities.

The car might not need a steering wheel or pedals at all. And it could be on the road by 2025.