Apple appears to be accelerating Project Titan and reportedly Aiming to develop a high-end autonomous vehicle
According to a new report published late this morning, Apple is pushing to accelerate development of its electric car and is refocusing the project around full self-driving capabilities, according to people familiar with the matter, aiming to solve a technical challenge that has bedeviled the auto industry.
For the past several years, Apple’s car team had explored two simultaneous paths: creating a model with limited self-driving capabilities focused on steering and acceleration -- similar to many current cars -- or a version with full self-driving ability that doesn’t require human intervention.
Under Project Titan's new leader, executive Kevin Lynch, engineers are now concentrating on the second option. Lynch is pushing for a car with a full self-driving system in the first version, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.
As part of efforts to accelerate the project, Apple is hiring more self-driving and car hardware engineers. That’s included enlisting CJ Moore, Tesla’s former self-driving software director.
In recent weeks, Apple has also tapped a climate system expert from Volvo Car AB, a manager from Daimler Trucks, battery systems engineers from Karma Automotive LLC and other carmakers, a sensor engineer from General Motors Co.’s Cruise LLC, automotive safety engineers from companies like Joyson Safety Systems, and multiple other engineers from Tesla, according to information from LinkedIn and people with knowledge of the matter.
The company is also hiring software engineers to work on “experiences for human interaction with autonomous technology,” according to an Apple job listing, suggesting it is deep into development of the car’s user interface. The listing implies the software being developed will be based on similar technology to the iPhone operating system.
Apple has internally debated several different business models for its car, including creating a self-driving fleet that would compete with the likes of Uber, Lyft Inc. and Waymo. The report presents a lot of speculation and you could read the full Bloomberg report on BNN Bloomberg.
To date Patently Apple has covered 112 patent reports on Project Titan that have detailed a wide array of technologies for almost every aspect of future vehicles. This afternoon we'll be covering yet another Project Titan patent, so stay tuned.