It’s no secret that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is interested in the interaction between vehicles and iOS-based mobile devices. For example, Apple introduced “iOS in the Car” as part of iOS 7 this year. The Cupertino-based company also holds patents on several car-related technologies, including a Bluetooth-enabled vehicle location system and an iPhone-based auto security system.
However, a team of Apple aficionados at the recent SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) tradeshow took Apple’s iOS-based automotive concepts even further. The Herbst Smith Fabrication team created a tricked-out Toyota (NYSE:TM) 4Runner SUV that has almost all of its electronic features controlled by iPads, reports USA Today.
SEMA is an annual tradeshow that features companies that specialize in the automotive aftermarket. The iPad-enabled 4Runner was created for a “most creative customized vehicle” competition that was sponsored by Toyota. The Oakley-themed Toyota 4Runner was designed to be the ultimate skiers’ vehicle and includes a rooftop ski storage unit that is electronically activated by an iPad.
The vehicle’s doors, windows, entertainment system, navigation, and other interior features are also controlled by iPads. The vehicle features a total of three iPads, including one for the back and one for the front of the vehicle. Besides integrating Apple’s mobile devices into the vehicle’s operation, the 4Runner also features various ski-oriented customizations that were inspired by the team’s collaboration with Olympic freestyle skier Simon Dumont. The back of the vehicle includes a boot and glove dryer, a coffeemaker, and a mountable grill.
“When you’re going to attack the slopes, this 4Runner is an assault vehicle,” said Dumont in Toyota’s press release. “It was incredible to be part of the Toyota Dream Build Challenge and watch details of my sport and personality be transferred into this car.” Although Toyota’s Apple-friendly 4Runner is a one-of-a-kind vehicle that is not intended for mass production, it provides a fascinating glimpse of what Apple may one day implement in its own automotive technologies. Here’s how Apple has traded over the past five trading sessions.
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