“A few years ago, I chatted to a senior Volkswagen AG manager who’d been involved in discussions with Apple Inc. about teaming up on autonomous vehicles,” Alex Webb reports for Bloomberg. “In essence, he said, Apple had asked the German autos giant to give it a stack of vehicle and driver behavior data. In return, VW would receive the self-driving system – he called it ‘a black box’ – it could fit to its vehicles. He laughed. “No, thanks,” was the response.”

“Fast forward to the present day, and the New York Times has reported that Apple is working with a VW subsidiary to transform T6 Transporter vans into electric self-driving shuttles. It’s a huge stepdown from the ambitious plans of several years ago,” Webb reports. “Apple is adapting fewer than two dozen of the vehicles, which will be deployed for a shuttle service between office buildings at its Cupertino headquarters, Bloomberg News subsequently reported. It looks like a supplier-customer relationship, but Apple is the customer, not Volkswagen.”

“It emerged last month that Apple is now testing 55 autonomous cars in California: Lexus RX450h sports-utility vehicles leased from a unit of Hertz Global Holdings Inc. That might make it the second-biggest fleet in the state, but other major autonomous car programs have now moved beyond California. They have bigger fleets working in regions where the regulatory regime is more amenable, such as Arizona and Pittsburgh,” Webb reports. “while the world’s most valuable company adapts a few VW vans, Alphabet’s Waymo has agreed to buy 20,000 electric SUVs from Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc, adding to a fleet of minivans from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Because more is better, dontcha know?

When all is said and done, we’ll see where Apple stands. The same goes for smart glasses. Even with the Google Glass debacle, Alphabet is considered to be way out in front of Apple by the hoi polloi. Again, when all is said and done, we’ll see where Apple stands in the market segments in which they choose to compete.

SEE ALSO:
Volkswagen looks to Apple for electric-car design guidance – February 16, 2018
Apple said to develop car operating system in Canada – October 25, 2016
Apple scales back ‘Project Titan,’ effort no longer includes building own car – October 17, 2016
Apple’s Bob Mansfield reboots Apple Car project, lays off several dozen employees – September 10, 2016
South Korea company’s never-before-revealed battery technology expected to be Apple Car’s ‘secret weapon’ – August 9, 2016
Apple Car: Everything we know about Apple’s mysterious ‘Project Titan’ – July 29, 2016
Apple Car: An operating system licensed to other auto-makers? – July 29, 2016
Apple hires founder of QNX with Apple Car project increasing focus on self-driving software – July 28, 2016
Apple taps Bob Mansfield to oversee Apple Car project – July 25, 2016
Beleaguered Volkswagen hires expert in self-driving cars from Apple’s ‘Project Titan’ – November 10, 2015

Gene Munster: Apple will release Apple Glasses late in 2021 – May 17, 2018
Apple patent application reveals work on eye-tracking technology for VR and AR headsets – April 27, 2018
Apple prepping Micro-LED displays for Apple Watch and Smartglasses for 2019, sources say – April 3, 2018
Apple CEO Cook on the future of fashion, shopping, and AR smartglasses – October 11, 2017
Apple’s AR smartglasses – understanding the issues – August 29, 2017
Bernstein: Apple’s ‘smartglasses’ opportunity ‘could be enormous’ – August 25, 2017
Apple working on several prototypes of AR glasses – August 4, 2017
Apple’s next big move: Augmented reality – August 3, 2017
Apple’s rumored new glasses will be an even bigger deal than the iPhone – July 28, 2017
Apple smart glasses are inevitable – July 28, 2017