The future of the automobile industry looks exciting and Tesla owner Elon Musk is in the thick of the things. His vision for autonomous cars is grand and urgent, and his urgency is only surpassed by the sheer enormity of the task he has undertaken.
Catch up on what’s happening: The Secret is Out – Apple is Making a Car!
Musk knows how big a challenge he’s facing, and is of the opinion that not everyone shares his concerns. For example, talking about Apple’s plans for making an electric car, Musk said:
I think they should have embarked on this project sooner. I don’t think they’ll be in production sooner until 2020. Is that too late? […] The sheer scale of automotive manufacturing is hard to imagine until you see the plants. The size of the industrial infrastructure is astonishing.
We understand that, as a competitor, Musk would look to discourage Apple. However, we know from past examples that Musk is a firm believer in the open market system. He values competition as highly as he does innovation and persistence. He has said many times that conflict is essential for growth. That’s just how evolution works. Survival of the fittest.
So on one hand, we could brush off the comment as jealousy. On the other, we could rationally accept that there just may be some amount of truth in his words. After all, if there ever was an authority on autonomous cars, it’s Elon Musk.
And true to his accommodating self, Musk added a footnote to Apple: “I think it’s great they’re doing this, and I hope it works out.”
As for the proposition that an Apple Car in 2020 will be too late, we would like to disagree. Musk’s insight is based on the principle of first mover’s advantage, which holds incredible value in the tech industry. However, Apple has constantly defied that market rule.
Apple’s whole success theory revolves around holding out, watching the market, observing the highs and the lows, and then releasing a product that has the highest chance of success. Their seemingly endless coffers and an exceptionally well-funded R&D department don’t hurt either.
So maybe Apple isn’t all that late to the game. That’s not to say that the recent delays in the project haven’t caused damage. They’ve made a dent, sure, but the car is far from crashed.