Apple Self-Driving System: Will Car Manufacturers Follow The Trend?

Oct 18, 2016 09:26 AM EDT | Sovan Mandal

Apple Car Concept

Apple seems to have scaled back its Titan Project so that the company no longer seems interested in developing the actual car, but only the autonomous driving technology.
(Photo : AutoTube/YouTube Screenshot)

Apple's iPad or iPhone moment for the automotive industry seems to have entered a never-ending cycle of troubles and delays. Or so claims a new Bloomberg report according to which the Apple self-driving system might have undergone a complete overhaul. As such, the Cupertino company might limit itself to building just the autonomous brains of the car rather than the entire car itself.

Not surprisingly, the drastic change in work layout has also led to hundreds of either layoffs or reassignments while much more have lodged themselves in greener pastures. This is in stark contrast to the times when Project Titan used to be teeming with activity with around a thousand heads contributing to it.

Apple had earlier been focussed on building an electric self-driving car, one that would serve to showcase the technological prowess of the company. Top Apple honchos are believed to have set a deadline of late 2017 to prove the system will be feasible enough for the mass market application.

While Apple will be waiting that long to decide how they eventually plan to give shape to their automotive dreams, a CNet report claimed the company might shy away from actual car manufacturing for now. That is until they have got the Apple self-driving system ready.

If that be the case then the Cupertino giant will limit itself to the development of the autonomous driving package comprising of specialized software as well as a host of hardware such as radars, lidar, camera, sensors and such. Those, in turn, could be licensed to those manufacturers who wish to roll out autonomous cars in future.

However, with most of the frontline companies already pursuing their own autonomous driving plans, companies with limited R&D budget could vie for the Apple self-driving system. Others such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Ford, Tesla, Volvo to name a few are already in active stages of building autonomous driving tech.

Apple had started with Project Titan back in 2014 with high hopes of launching self-driving cars. Initial plans centered around launching a semi-autonomous car though that was soon revised to allow for full self-driving tech. The car would have advanced fingerprint detection tech - aka iPhone, iPad - to establish the identity of the driver.

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