Apple isn’t giving up on its self-driving car ambitions, but the supposed ‘Apple Car’ the internet got all amped about will never be a reality.
As reported by The New York Times, Apple’s ‘Project Titan’ self-driving car undertaking is no longer, with the company turning its focus toward “autonomous systems” instead. In other words, Apple became familiarized with the complexities of the automotive industry (manufacturing, unions, suppliers, dealers etc.) and decided that maybe producing its own car wasn’t such a great idea.
The company seems serious about autonomous software and hardware, however. A downsized version of the team that was working Project Titan is in the process of developing autonomous tech that could be applied to a vehicle from an existing manufacturer. Apple may test the system on a commercial vehicle, using it to ferry employees between its Silicon Valley campuses, sources close to the matter told NYT.
Apple’s supposed shuttle service represents an approach to autonomous vehicles that is more in line with other tech companies like Google and Uber. Both of those companies have been working on autonomous vehicles as well, but they only ever intended to produce hardware and software that could then be applied to vehicles from existing manufacturers.
Apple has now received the go-ahead to test its self-driving tech on public roads in California. It will test its system on a trio of Lexus RX450h crossovers – decidedly less cool than its own futuristic, self-driving transport pod but entirely more realistic. We’re sure engineers in Google’s Waymo self-driving Chrysler Pacificas and Uber’s self-driving Volvo XC90s will be sure to give Apple employees a cheeky wave when they see them.
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[Source: The New York Times]