This article provides a playful look at what the Apple Car might look like. For the (slightly) more serious reasoning on how I came to the parameters of the possible Apple Car, please click here and for the performance characteristics click here. For the specifications of existing micro-cars I used as reference points to inform the parameters, please click here.
In this piece, I seek to flesh-out and illustrate the likely ‘envelope’ and specifications of the Apple Car. In an earlier post, I described the broad characteristics of what I imagined the Apple Car to look like, drawing upon the thinking of well-known Apple observer and analyst, Horace Dediu.
Primary Parameters for the Apple Car
Together, Dediu's criteria and my own reasoning pointed towards the primary characteristics relevant to visualizing and specifying the Apple Car as being:
- A small vehicle, likely a ‘microcar’ or ‘autocycle’
- It would fit only one or two people – we will assume one person here
- It was a given that it would use a large amount of ‘smart’ technology e.g. autopilot, collision prevention, auto-balancing/leaning technology etc., but only that likely to be available at its speculated time of release in 2019-2021.
- It would likely be electric
- It would be unlikely to compete with the specifications of a conventional vehicle, making performance trade-offs to more specifically focus upon the job to be done (taking a person from ‘A’ to ‘B’)
Dimensions of the Apple Car
Consequently, I arrived at the following dimensions for the future Apple Car (assuming of course, one is ever made):
Length: From 1.2 to 1.6m long or comfortably less than half the length of the average modern family sedan. An important criteria is that the vehicle can park ‘nose to kerb’ and not be wider than a conventional car.
Width: Approx. 1 metre; or more than half but less than 2/3rds the width of the average modern family sedan. This is to enable the division of the regulation traffic lane into two, hence potentially doubling the carrying capacity of existing infrastructure.
Height: 1.35-1.6m or around 10-15cm less than the average modern family sedan. Note this dimension is one of the most constrained due to the assumption of a normal seating position. Going too far from a normal seated position risks alienating many people (the old, inflexible, tall, overweight, unfit, unusually proportioned etc). Historically, this is something Apple has sought to avoid.