The discussion of whether Steve Jobs could revitalize the auto industry by working with GM on an iCar (Steve Jobs For President. Of GM?) has been lively. But the bottom line question remains: What should that iCar be?
Let's leave aside what the root causes of the American auto industry's failure to move effectively into the present, much less the future, have been. Or whether the Apple culture is the right one to supplant the GM culture.
What is the blow-'em-away i-gotta-have-one design for a premium-priced but affordable iCar that would live up to the instantly game-changing standard of the iPod and the iPhone?
Bob Warfield at SmoothSpan tried to set out some essentials he would expect from a Jobs' take on the automobile:
--Minimalist and modern. --Innovative use of materials, from carbon fiber to aluminum and unique combinations of glass and plastics. --Unique form of propulsion (at least unique to GM) --Touch panel dashboard --Heads up navigational display --Map to nearest gas station that automatically pops up when the gas gauge hits low --Drop-in slots for iPod or iPhone or other Apples --RSS reader that speaks to you as you drive --Audio system that plays back Internet radio stations
Etc. Take a look.
Interestingly, the possibility of a real-life iCar first came up more than a year ago, after Steve Jobs met with Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn. There is also the conceptualization of an iCar (inserted at the top of this post), which looks suspiciously like one of the colorful "see-through" early iMacs, from 1999, on display at The Apple Collection. It comes from a playful faux "Think Different" ad by Chris O'Riley.
So there's been, one way another, years of thought behind what an Apple-designed iCar would look like and contain.
Now that GM's on the brink of bankruptcy, though: What are your thoughts?
Today, help Steve Jobs design that iCar, with your input. Describe what you'd like to see in it, in a TalkBack post. Or, if you have a design, send it to:
Compelling designs and details will be combined into a Between The Lines post. For Steve.