Apple to produce Siri-driven vehicle iMove

Apple to produce Siri-driven vehicle iMove: Yicai.com

Staff Reporter

2013-03-15

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A computer-generated image of iMove. (Internet photo)

Apple is secretly developing a vehicle incorporating its voice assistant technology Siri and map service, said China-based financial news media Yicai.com. Steve Jobs, the US technology firm’s co-founder, was said to be a car enthusiast and had planned to develop the vehicle before he died of cancer in Oct. 2011.

The development has been continued by the present Apple CEO Tim Cook after Jobs died. The vehicle, called iMove, and has a minimalist, chic design likes other Apple products. The top of its body is covered by solar panel, glass and ABS plastic, which greatly reduces its weight and energy consumption. The rest of the vehicle’s body is painted in chameleon patterns.

The vehicle is also completely electric-powered. Apple is riding the wave of alternative energy vehicles, a movement receiving considerable investment and commercialization in developed countries and China.

The most noticeable feature of the iMove is Siri. Apple’s ties with the car industry in recent years would suggest that the company is looking for commercial opportunities for its car, according to Yicai.com. The iMove is likely to incorporate the voice assistant service as well as Apple’s operating system iOS, which may offer drivers multiple services. The vehicle may also feature an auto-piloting system, running on Apple’s own map services, which it developed after it ditched Google Maps, said Yicai.

Apple has developed an extension for Siri for automobiles called Eyes Free. Vehicles with the technology are equipped with an extra button on their steering wheels. The button connects Apple products through a Bluetooth wireless signal and the internet. The driver would be able to initiate Siri through their iPhone or iPad and control them hand-free through the voice assistant, reducing the risk of an accident.

Automakers such as BMW, General Motor, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler and Honda have reached an agreement with the US tech firm on incorporating the Eyes Free system in their new models, according to Yicai.

Chinese internet users were not surprised by the idea of an Apple car. Internet user Fong You has already planned to reinstall the iOS system and make unauthorized upgrades and said the glass top of the vehicle is likely to scratch or break easily. Another netizen Chenzi Zuiai Ganjijun joked that with an additional plug-in, the vehicle may be able to fly

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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