BREAKING: Apple to 'give Tesla a run for its money' with a self-driving vehicle
Last week it was reported that a mysterious Apple van had been driving around the streets of San Francisco. After much speculation that the van could be used to develop a self-driving car, Business Insider received an unsolicited email from an employee at Apple about ‘vehicle development’ at the tech firm.
The source revealed Tesla employees were ‘jumping ship’ to work at Apple.
“Apple's latest project is too exciting to pass up,” the source said. “I think it will change the landscape and give Tesla a run for its money.”
According to LinkedIn, Apple has about 50 employees who previously worked at Tesla. Many of those hires were engineers who interned at Tesla. Most of the engineers Apple has hired from Tesla specialize in mechanics, manufacturing, and robotics.
This of course begs the question, is Apple ramping up to build a self-driving vehicle to rival the likes of Tesla and Google?
It could also mean that Apple is working on new iPhone-to-car experiences that will compete with what Tesla offers in its vehicles, but either way the new development is extremely exciting.
Apple has an initiative called CarPlay that lets you control certain cars' entertainment and other systems with your smartphone. It was supposed to come out in 2014 but has been delayed, and it has only just started to emerge on cars like the 2015 Hyundai Sonata.
Unsurprisingly the rumour mill has gone into overdrive – is it possible this Apple employee is talking about things like using your iPhone to unlock and drive a CarPlay-partner car without needing a key — Tesla began offering this with its 6.0 system update last year. Or perhaps a much deeper set of integrated experiences with navigation, audio, and other systems.
Whether or not Apple is working on a car of its own, the company seems to compete with Tesla for top talent. Tesla has hired about 150 people from Apple so far, according to Bloomberg, and Apple has reportedly tried to appeal to potential Tesla hires with $250,000 signing bonuses and huge salary hikes.
The competition just heated up!
IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery
After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022.
Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery.
Lingering Concerns Over COVID
Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high.
Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery?
IMF: Current Boom Could Falter
Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”.
Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”.
Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.