British vehicle leasing company Vanarama has taken a stab at imagining what the first Apple Car could look like, taking inspiration from iPhones, MacBooks, and other Apple products, and combining them with real Apple patents to come up with a 3D concept render that can be explored inside and out.
Given that Apple remains tight-lipped about its electric self-driving car plans, the concept is of course entirely speculative, but Vanarama says it has based the coupe SUV model on “genuine patents filed by Apple.”
Vanarama’s renders have several features based on Apple patents, such as the way the seats fully rotate to transform the interior into a living room setup, and the pillar-less design providing ease of access.
Other areas inspired by Apple patents include the coach doors, which “offer greater flexibility for passenger movement and loading, with scooped windows that increase headroom when boarding.”
Interior touches also based on Apple patents include Siri built into the steering column (based on a patent for an intelligent automated assistant), and a seamless, fully customizable dashboard and navigation screen.
The stylistic flourishes meanwhile are inspired by Apple products, such as the retractable door handles that resemble iPhone buttons, and the mesh-like grille inspired by the Mac Pro‘s circular vents, complete with glowing logo from previous generations of MacBook. The frosted white finish is “a popular color scheme since the iPhone 4 launched in 2010.”
Patents don’t guarantee that Apple will build an Apple Car, but they do provide evidence that the company is researching vehicle development, and plenty of reports suggest Apple is going down the car track wholesale.
Last month, Bloomberg reported that Apple is picking up its work on an Apple-designed car and is aiming to create a fully autonomous vehicle. Apple is said to want to design a car that lacks a steering wheel or pedals, and with an interior that’s aimed at hands-off driving. That said, Apple is still discussing the inclusion of a steering wheel, which may be required so people can take over in an emergency situation.
Bloomberg also reported that Apple has considered a design similar to the Lifestyle Vehicle from Canoo, in which passengers sit along the sides of the vehicle, facing one another.
Apple is said to be aiming to launch its self-driving car in four years, which would put a debut right around 2025. Whether Apple will be able to hit that goal will depend on whether Apple can develop a full self-driving system. For more details, check out our dedicated Apple Car roundup.