The so-called “Apple iCar” might never happen. Instead, the iPhone maker is “developing an autonomous driving system that gives Apple flexibility to either partner with existing carmakers, or return to designing its own vehicle in the future,” according to Bloomberg.
Apple’s Project Titan had grand plans when it launched in 2014. To get an Apple-designed vehicle on the road by the early 2020s, the company went on an aggressive hiring spree.
Unfortunately, “internal strife” and supply chain issues have forced Apple to refocus. Hundreds of members of the car team “have been reassigned, let go, or have left of their own volition in recent months, the people said, asking not to be identified because the moves aren’t public. ”
For now, Project Titan, now headed by Bob Mansfield, is shifting its attention to “autonomous programs, vision sensors, and simulators for testing the platform in real-world environments.”
I never embraced the idea of an actual Apple Car. Instead, I have felt that Apple’s best move would be to partner with current car makers to offer special “Apple edition” packages. Perhaps, this is where Project Titan is finally headed.