Apple hires founder of QNX with Apple Car project increasing focus on self-driving software

“Apple Inc. has hired the former head of BlackBerry Ltd.’s automotive software division as new leadership at the iPhone-maker’s car team places increased emphasis on developing self-driving technology, according to people familiar with the project,” Mark Gurman and Alex Webb report for Bloomberg.

“Dan Dodge, the founder and former chief executive officer of QNX, the operating system developer that BlackBerry acquired in 2010, joined Apple earlier this year, the people said,” Gurman and Webb report. “He is part of a team headed by Bob Mansfield, who, since taking over leadership of the cars initiative — dubbed Project Titan — has heralded a shift in strategy, according to a person familiar with the plan.”

“The initiative is now prioritizing the development of an autonomous driving system, though it’s not abandoning efforts to design its own vehicle. That leaves options open should the company eventually decide to partner with or acquire an established car maker, rather than build a car itself,” Gurman and Webb report. “Apple has hundreds of engineers working on car design and has been targeting a release as soon as 2020.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: No shift here: Apple’s smartly covering all their bases.

Apple taps Bob Mansfield to oversee Apple Car project – July 25, 2016
Apple veteran Steve Zadesky overseeing electric-car project leaving company – January 22, 2016
Apple is building their largest startup ever – October 1, 2015
Why it’s time for an Apple Car – October 1, 2015
The deeper reason for an Apple Car – September 23, 2015
Volkswagen emissions scandal spotlights need for an Apple Car – September 23, 2015
Morgan Stanley: Apple Car, if true, ‘one of the most important moments in transportation’ – September 22, 2015
Former GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz: Apple Car ‘is going to be a gigantic money pit’ – September 22, 2015
Apple speeds up electric-car efforts, aims for 2019 ‘ship date’ – September 21, 2015
Apple meets California DMV officials to discuss ‘autonomous vehicle’ – September 18, 2015
Documents confirm Apple is building self-driving car, Project Titan further along than many suspect – August 14, 2015
Apple Car development proceeds apace – July 27, 2015
Apple hires veteran Fiat Chrysler auto industry executive – July 20, 2015
What’s up with Carl Icahn’s sudden obsession with the Apple Car? – May 18, 2015
Survey: 77% of hybrid or electric vehicle owners would likely buy an Apple Car – May 13, 2015
Apple’s ‘Project Titan’ could reshape the auto world – February 22, 2015
Bob Mansfield’s new role at Apple is to focus on chips – August 3, 2013
Is Apple flying the pirate flag again? Mansfield move means something special is in works – August 1, 2013
Gruber: Nothing to read between the lines, Bob Mansfield really is working on ‘special projects’ for Apple – July 29, 2013
Apple’s Bob Mansfield to focus on ‘special projects’ – July 29, 2013
Apple removes SVP Bob Mansfield from executive team; will remain at Apple reporting to Tim Cook – July 28, 2013
Un-retired: Why Bob Mansfield is back at Apple in a big way – November 1, 2012
Tim Cook takes full control of Apple: John Browett and Scott Forstall out; Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi get expanded responsibilities – October 29, 2012
Apple CEO Tim Cook expands executive team, Senior VP Hardware Engineering Bob Mansfield will not retire – August 27, 2012
Brain drain? Apple’s Bob Mansfield is 2nd key exec to leave since Steve Jobs died – June 29, 2012
Bob Mansfield, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering, to retire; Dan Riccio to take over – June 28, 2012

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]


      1. Given the repeated, consistent, and constant posts by fanboys it appears that there is no risk of death associated with idiocy. However, the whole world will know if Tim Cook can produce a safe and functional Apple Car this year, don’t you agree?

    1. Self-driving cars is speculative: it is not clear that anyone even wants this feature other than a few niche markets.

      Apple will need to make a big bet that consumers give a crap about self-driving when they can just drive themselves, and with familiarity, quicker.

      Steve Jobs got romanced by Dean Kamen with the Segway and was going to invest $60 million into it. Then he had an aha moment: why would anyone want to use a Segway to go to the store, etc. when they can just walk?

      And self-driving cars need different infrastructure than what we currently have. Our roads, cross walks, etc. are not optimal.

      It’s a long way out.

      What people want is: affordabiltity; sexy design; lots of easy to use tech that learns about you and connects to all your devices; long-range electric with a platform of free-to-low cost charging stations; other innovative features like windshield wiperless water removal, advanced security, theft-proof windows, highly scratch resistent finish, solar, quick charge, accessories…

    1. Apple’s consistent strategy is to marry the hardware with the software. Doing that with cars makes incredible sense for automobiles of the future. Can they do this better than Tesla? That’s where competition enters the fray, which is a GOOD thing. I don’t care which company ‘wins’. I’m glad there are two companies competing in this field. . . If all this ‘Project Titan’ rumor mongering is true.

      1. Can they do this better than Tesla?

        From what I know of Apple, they won’t enter any market without a compelling competitive advantage. I’m expecting Apple to crush Tesla like a bug.


        1. Tesla has a genius running the company and they’re YEARS ahead of Apple, with a lot of experience with mechanical engineering. But I have no idea what the future will be. I simply have the sense from the rumors that the two of them will compete on one level or another. The best guess at the moment is that Apple could come up with superior autonomous driving software. Tesla is taking some heat for their beta autonomous driving software that was involved in one death (so far). I’ve read three different scenarios as to why Tesla’s system failed. The latest has something to do with the brake system failing, not their driving software. Previously, the ‘driver’ was blamed for (A) Not holding the steering wheel, and/or (B) Being impaired, intoxicated or something similar.

  1. Everyone one with any brain matter knows the existing fleet of cars in the showrooms are stale versions of each other. Hondas look like Hyundais which look like Toyotas which look like Chevys which look like Fords which look like BMWs which look like Audis which look like……

    The need for something new and cool is obvious. But unlike the clean slate Apple had creating the Mac, iPod, iPhone, etc., etc., cars are one of the most heavily regulated products on the market.

    US cars must all half the same pollution control, air bags, be crash resistant at a given speed, get X mpg, etc., etc. With this heap of regulations to start with, making something unique and outstanding is tough, no matter what price you put on it.

    1. The Duke had his own control problems with self-driving horses. As an actor, he had to rely on wranglers, and if an experienced one wasn’t available on the day of the shoot, the director would get fed up with all the extra takes.

        1. My mother. She was a lifelong film fan and inveterate autograph collector, and avidly pursued actors, even maintained relationships with some of them. Named her children after them, she did. She was what kids today would call a groupie. She’d often visit sets where movies were being shot and bluff her way into the actors’ trailers. She had a few stories alright…

          1. What an interesting mother, wow.

            I’ll guess she has a gillion stories to tell.

            Was she on the set of the Duke classic “The Searchers” in Monument Valley?

            Whoopsie, that might be too personal a question.

            Getting back to my original post. Self-driving cars? I’ll drive my own, thank you, thank you very much … 😎

            1. I’m with you — cars that drive themselves, brrr — I don’t like it. After spending years working with computers I have learnt that they do only what they were programmed to do — but programmers make mistakes, lots of them, because they are human. Driverless cars put us at the mercy of whoever programmed them. When a Windows PC crashes, as they often do, that incoveniences me but doesn’t threaten to kill me with unanticipated momentum, as a driverless car would.

              As for Monument Valley, that was before my time but I checked with my sister. I’ll let you know what I find out… Since you asked… 🙂

            2. Totally agree with you regarding who is behind the wheel. I don’t trust digital ones and zeros over my primordial instincts. And I don’t understand how you can program for millions of myriad chance possibilities. Won’t get started on viruses, hacking and a fried motherboard in Equator Zone heat.

              Surprised to learn you work(?) on a PC. Well, after decades using Macs at work, in my latest employment venture the shop uses WinDOZE 7 and crappy Dell little black boxes. On my third black box in less than three years. I’ve seen and talked to more IT folks in one month, than the last ten years, actually more, using Macs. How did the corporate computer bean counters drive employees so far into the ditch?

              Looking forward to what sis has to say.

              Ethan (John Wayne): Our turnin’ back don’t mean nothin’, not in the long run. She’s alive, she’s safe… for a while. They’ll keep her to raise her as one of their own till, until she’s of an age to…

              Martin: Don’t you think there’s a chance we still might find her?

              Ethan: Injun will chase a thing till he thinks he’s chased it enough. Then he quits. Same way when he runs. Seems like he never learns there’s such a thing as a critter that’ll just keep comin’ on. So we’ll find ’em in the end, I promise you. We’ll find ’em. Just as sure as the turnin’ of the earth … 🐎🐎

              Quotes from “The Searchers” courtesy of IMDB

              I don’t recall the exact website awhile back, but I seem to remember something like the top 1,000 movies of all time. Many foreign flicks on the list, but interesting enough — “The Searchers” was listed as the fourth best movie of all time. Certainly, the BEST Duke performance of all time and some scenes give you chills. Hollywood arguably disagreed, that’s fine, but made up for it later with an Oscar for “True Grit.” 😎

            3. I worked on all kinds of operating systems as a consultant with the likes of HP and as part of an independent group; so Windows was common in my experience, but I’d always go home to an Apple Mac. That kept me semi-sane.

              As far as my surviving sister and I can tell, my mother wasn’t present at those western location shots because she was raising the likes of us, mostly, in Virginia. Around about 1955 when JW was making those movies, she did fly to California but it doesn’t seem likely she detoured to Utah, probably figuring John Ford didn’t need any more extras.

              Thank you so much for your interest, and for your fascinating commentary. I sense a caring person inside that tough ideologue exterior of yours, but don’t worry—I won’t give you away. 😏

            4. Today, on vacation, I was going through my various e-mail accounts and I am truly sorry I did not respond to your spot on post in real time.

              Your family history is indeed, special and thanks for sharing.

              Mum is the word on the size of my heart. Your perceptive powers are second to none … 🤗

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