Apple driverless vehicle project killed by lack of direction, say employees

Apple driverless vehicle project killed by lack of direction, say employees

Apple driverless vehicle project killed by lack of direction, say employees

These included a semi-autonomous vehicle, a fully self-driving auto, software, and various radical facets never before seen in the automobile.

Apple CEO Tim Cook finally revealed some aspects in June about the company's elusive initiative, but limited the specifics to "autonomous systems". This service, named PAIL, which stands for Palo Alto to Infinite Loop, will transport employees between the many Apple offices in Silicon Valley. But rumors that Apple was shutting down parts of the program are now confirmed in a New York Times report that Apple is abandoning its autonomous vehicle plans. The "Falcon Wing" doors on the Model X were ambitious and plagued with issues at the SUV's launch, with Elon Musk later conceding that the company tried to do too much at once. ABI Research senior analyst James Hodgson believes this, and its project shift, could have cost Apple in the race to help produce a fully driverless vehicle.

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Citing a number of anonymous sources close to Apple, the Times reports that the company is scaling back on its previously reported autonomous vehicle effort, Project Titan. It looks like Steve Zadesky, the in charge of the project believed in making a semi automatic device first and then gradually climbing to fully automatic. However, according to interviews with Daisuke Wakabayashi, the Titan has stumbled, and now Apple is pursuing slightly less Herculean goals for its autonomous cars, Titan-lite perhaps? He was in favour of a semi-autonomous vehicle unlike Jonathan Ive who was in favour of a fully autonomous auto. The self-driving vehicle from Apple is Waymo.

According to the Times, Project Titan was more than a trial-and-error tinkering project. PAIL might not be as exciting as Project Titan, however, there is no reason that Apple might not pick this up at a later date, and this will surely be something that Apple will continue to assess as an increasing amount of vehicles become autonomous. A self-driving shuttle is in the works and will be installed in the company's complex. It has already been spotted testing a Lexus equipped with off-the-shelf technology RADAR and LiDAR units from Velodyne.

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