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Off The Shelf Hardware Hints At A Different Goal For Apple's Autonomous Car

Apple's self driving Lexus had broken cover this week, with Bloomberg capturing some images of the Lexus SUV in traffic.

The car is packing a number of off the shelf sensor hardware components, Lidar's top of the range sensor kit for example, and that suggests a different ambition for Apple compared to other autonomous car developers.

Apple wants to be the Microsoft of self driving software.

Consider the options. Take on an industry with notoriously difficult supply, stock management and manufacturing challenges, go up against established brands who have customer loyalty which beats even Apple's; or work with them to ease the path to self driving Nirvana by creating an off the shelf package which just works.

Ultimately autonomous cars aren't going to get into the mainstream market until legislators are sure the offerings are safe and behave in a predictable manner.

For car makers that's going to be a lot easier to achieve if they can offload the assurance to Apple and bolt self driving solutions directly into future products as a package.

And as a customer given the choice between putting your family's safety in the hands of Apple or VW software, who are you more likely to choose?