Apple accelerates Project Titan, aiming for fully autonomous vehicle

Apple is accelerating development of its electric car, code-named “Project Titan,” and is aiming to achieve fully autonomous capabilities, Bloomberg News reports, citing “people familiar with the matter.”

vehicle under wraps

Mark Gurman for Bloomberg News:

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 the effort’s new leader — Apple Watch software 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.

It’s just the latest shift for the car effort, known as the Special Projects Group or “Project Titan,” which has endured strategy changes and executive turnover since starting around 2014.

Apple is internally targeting a launch of its self-driving car in four years, faster than the five- to seven-year timeline that some engineers had been planning for earlier this year… Apple’s ideal car would have no steering wheel and pedals, and its interior would be designed around hands-off driving… Though the company is pushing to not have a standard steering wheel, Apple has discussed equipping the car with an emergency takeover mode…

MacDailyNews Take: Creating a reliable, safe, fully autonomous vehicle by 2025 is quite the challenge. Good lick, Apple!

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21 Comments

      1. Yes. Just like back in 1982 when Atari claimed their “next computer” (that never materialized) would “do what you want it to, not what you tell it to”. Yes, Atari had a marketing campaign back then explicitly saying that.

        Until there are self-aware computers there will never be a 100% fully self driving car. There are way toconstantly changing many variablesinvolved. Even the best real-time computer on the planet (the human brain) can’t handle it all. That’s why there are so many road accidents, injuries, and deaths.

        1. I will keep my Boxster, Alfa Giulia and Jeep and smile all the time while I am driving and the new “driver of the future” is by the side of the road trying to figure out how to do CONTROL-ALT-DELETE on his car which just won’t move. And there is no gas pedal or steering wheel. So much fun. Like riding on a city bus.

        2. I disagree. The human brain can handle more than you give it credit for when adrenaline kicks in to save your life. I could be wrong, but find it hard to believe a computer can be programmed to deal with every changing road condition and let’s not forget viruses.

          For example: In St. Louis WIRED Magazine reported “Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway” blasting cold air, changing in-seat climate control, turning wipers on, blasting the stereo and others. If Apple includes the kiddie porn backdoor in the software, OS would certainly be dangerously vulnerable.

          Over 230 million licensed drivers in the USA and 5.25 million accidents recorded in a year from latest figures. That’s roughly 2.2% of all drivers are involved in accident.

          Tells me there is no immediate emergency need and pressing outcry for a self driving vehicle in a price range that roughly 95% of citizens will not be able to afford…

      1. I love driving too, but if they get it right, this will be huge.

        It will be a boost for restaurants and bars, it will permanently free parents from chauffeur duty, it will let the elderly (and especially rural-based elderly) maintain independent lives. (You’ll be able to send your pet to the vet unattended!)

        Giving up driving probably means giving up car ownership too. So this is a massive opportunity for Apple, who can rapidly capture enormous market share by producing relatively few high-end vehicles.

  1. Given that a fully autonomous car is a mathematical impossibility outside of very controlled circumstances, it would appear that now that Apple has fixed the Mac, they have assigned all of their engineers that ruined the Mac in the first place to their car division. Bravo, Apple. :/ The only way a fully autonomous car would ever work would be in isolation, likely on rails, and sorry, but trains are faster and more efficient under those circumstances. There is still a contingent within Apple that seems to think one square mile of the Bay is reflective of the world at large, and I guess if they want to continue to light money on fire by pandering to that contingent, that is their business. Ditto for AR.

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