Apple gives up on self-driving auto, builds bus instead

Mandy Carr
August 24, 2017

The project's reduced scale aligns more closely with other tech companies that are working on autonomous driving but are steering clear of building cars. There was disagreement about whether Apple should develop a fully autonomous vehicle or a semiautonomous auto that could drive itself for stretches but allow the driver to retake control. Instead of the Apple Car, we're more likely to see an over-glorified Apple Bus.

PAIL, which isn't up and running yet, will likely be a commercial vehicle from another auto manufacturer and will be used to test Apple's self-driving technology.

Apple stepped up to regain course in the project previous year when it put longtime executive Bob Mansfield, in charge of Titan.

From the start, Project Titan encompassed a wide range of details, including motorized doors that open and close silently, a redesigned vehicle interior without steering wheel or gas pedals, and virtual or augmented reality in interior displays. Apple, as always focused on clean designs, wanted to do away with the awkward cone.

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Instead of building its own, Apple has resolved to simply build tech to facilitate autonomy in vehicle makers' machines.

A report in the New York Times claims that Apple is abandoning any hope of building an Apple Car, and has turned instead to working on the technology that powers autonomous vehicles and cars.

Such lofty goals in such a nascent area of technology, along with alleged "arbitrary or unrealistic deadlines" and "shifting priorities", ensnared Apple, according to the employees.

While Apple tried to figure out the basics, like how self-driving technology would work, another team had already begun working on an operating system software called CarOS. Even so, Uber's self-driving technology unit is still hiring, and Uber's board continues to support the project, this person told us. It was also stated that Apple will "change the landscape" and that Tesla employees are "jumping ship" to join them. Apple's recruitment of Dan Dodge, the founder of QNX, Blackberry's (formerly RIM) automotive software division marks a shift in emphasis toward creating software for autonomous vehicles. The new prototype by Apple according to the sources will be ferrying people from one office to the other. Apple has grown too big to be operated like a startup, moreover, the company is desperate to create the next big thing, as now, more than 50% of its profit comes from iPhone sales alone, which is in decline.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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