According to a report by The Information, Apple’s chief of design Jony Ive, who is leaving the company to start his own design studio named ‘LoveFrom’ later this year, had once insisted that the so-called ‘Apple Car’ should be free of the steering wheel.
Instead, Ive wanted it to be controlled by Siri, although it remains unknown how exactly that would have worked (via MacRumors).
The report claims that Ive came up with multiple early prototypes of the autonomous vehicle, including one made out of wood and leather that lacked a steering wheel at Ive’s insistence.
Ive instead wanted the vehicle to be controlled by Siri, and to demonstrate the concept to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the report claims a nearby actress pretended to be Siri by responding to voice commands from Apple’s executives.
Meanwhile, an internal memo to Apple employees shared by BuzzFeed News shows that Apple’s COO Jeff Williams, who has worked closely with Ive for many years and has also led the development of the Apple Watch, will now be spending more of his time working with Apple’s design team.
Moreover, The Information has also highlighted that Ive’s involvement at Apple had already been declining for the past few years and that his most recent focus had been on the company’s Apple Park headquarters.