Steve Jobs, the famous founder of Apple, was well known for saying, "People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all ... I'm actually as proud of the things we haven't done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying 'no' to 1,000 things."

This laser focus on a few great products is the reason we have many of the wonderful innovations we use -- and can hardly live without -- every day.

This week, however, Apple hinted that it is starting to say "yes" to a few more things -- including driverless cars.

According to AppleInsider.com, "The state of California has now permitted Apple to have 27 self-driving cars on its public roads, as the company expands its homegrown automated driving technology, internally known as 'Project Titan.'"

This endeavor hardly seems like a distraction to Apple. After all, for a company that has about a quarter-trillion dollars on hand, 27 new Lexus vehicles is Apple's equivalent of change in the couch cushion.

And compared to Uber, which in late 2017 ordered 24,000 Volvos as part of its expanding driverless car fleet, Apple seems more like your retired Uncle tinkering in the backyard wood shed.

Regardless, what surprised me most about this announcement is how little news coverage it received. Yes, it is an insignificant investment on Apple's behalf, but the fact a global leader in innovation and technology is tinkering in the driverless car market is not insignificant and should not be ignored.

For starters, I am very happy that Apple has thrown its hat into the ring, even if it is just tinkering. When the day comes that all our cars become automated -- which will easily be in our lifetimes -- I really, really want the best technology companies taking the lead on how well my car performs. Don't you?

Also, as the reality of a 5G data network -- a vital component of an automated vehicle fleet -- draws closer, who better positioned than Apple to understand and be equipped to integrate the technology into its cars? 

So as the technology continues to evolve and automated vehicles become more of a reality, I am encouraging with Apple's new "hobby," even if it does break from Job's "just say no" mantra that has help propel Apple to success. 

And, let's face it, if Apple makes the transition to vehicles in the future, the company really can't slow down old vehicles when new models are released.

What do you think about Apples driverless care ambitions or automated vehicles in genereal? Please share your thoughts in the comment below. 

Published on: Jan 30, 2018
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