Apple joins U.S. Department of Transportation’s new Automation Committee

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 12, 2017

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, is listed as one of the 25 members who joined the United States Department of Transportation’s (DOT) new Automation Committee. This means that the iPhone maker will play an active role in overseeing self-driving vehicles and helping determine the future of transportation.

Prior to joining Apple in 2013 to lead environmental initiatives, Lisa Jackson served as Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

According to DOT’s press release Thursday, the new advisory committee is scheduled to hold its first meeting on January 16 to immediately begin work on “some of the most pressing and relevant matters facing transportation today,” including the development and deployment of automated vehicles. Read More

 

Senior Director of Design for Mac lineup leaves Apple for engineering role at Tesla

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 11, 2017

Apple was trying “very hard” (in Elon Musk’s own words) to recruit top talent from Tesla.

Now that its Project Titan has shifted gear from building an electric vehicle to developing an autonomous driving software, some of the engineers associated with the initiative have departed for Tesla.

Just as we’ve discovered that Swift creator Chris Lattner was leaving the iPhone maker to take a position as Vice President of Autopilot Software at Tesla, Electrek.co is reporting that the guy who designed many of Apple’s iconic Macs will now be building Tesla vehicles. Read More

 

Apple poached race car engineer from Porsche

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2016

Earlier this year, Apple poached Alexander Hitzinger, the former technical director of Porsche’s race car program who helped the car maker return to the Le Mans endurance race, a company source told Reuters last Friday. The move was first reported by Germany’s Manager Magazin.

Volkswagen-owned Porsche officially confirmed Hitzinger had left the luxury carmaker in the spring, but didn’t share any further information. Read More

 

Blackberry opens brand new autonomous driving research center in Ottawa, Canada

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2016

Following its decision to exit the smartphone hardware business and focus on software, Blackberry today opened a new research and development center in Ottawa, Canada. The facility is dedicated to the development of autonomous driving software. According to Reuters, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended the launch.

The facility is being run by Blackberry subsidiary QNX, which makes advanced driver assistance and autonomous vehicle technology used by car makers worldwide. Read More

 

Apple has been quietly poaching engineers from automotive mapping company Here

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 15, 2016

Over the past few months, Apple has been quietly hiring engineers away from Here, a Berlin-based automotive mapping company, for mapping jobs in Berlin. Interestingly, Apple’s never publicly confirmed that it has an office in Berlin.

According to LinkedIn profiles discovered by Business Insider, Apple’s poached at least half a dozen employees from Here, jointly owned by German car makers Audi, BMW and Daimler. Read More

 

ChargePoint electric vehicle stations added to Apple Maps with Apple Pay support

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 8, 2016

ChargePoint operates the world’s largest electric vehicle charging network. As of today, ChargePoint’s electric vehicle stations in the U.S. can be found through Apple Maps, as reported by 9to5Mac. And because ChargePoint accepts Apple Pay, users can even initiate charging via Apple Maps and complete their payment with a touch of a finger.

ChargePoint locations appear on the map as badges that can be tapped to reveal information like business hours, pricing, whether or not they accept Apple Pay at that particular location and more. Read More

 

McLaren confirms it was in talks with Apple that never “matured to a definitive proposition”

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 19, 2016

Back in September, The Financial Times, The New York Times and Bloomberg ran reports that Apple was considering either a full takeover bid or at least a large investment in the British supercar maker McLaren Automotive. A potential acquisition was valued at between $1.3 billion and $1.9 billion though McLaren later said it was “not in discussion with Apple in respect of any potential investment.”

Saturday, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt confirmed in an interview with Reuters that his company did hold talks with Apple after all, but said the discussions never progressed towards a definitive proposition. Read More

 

Bloomberg: Apple gives up building a car, for now

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 17, 2016

Project Titan, Apple’s ambitious initiative to build an electric vehicle by 20202021 reportedly fell apart amid management crisis, supply chain issues and departures, prompting the company’s leadership to shift gears and focus on autonomous self-driving software, for now.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported Monday that Apple will decide fate of self-driving software by late 2017 as the new direction no longer includes building its own car. Read More

 

Here are Gene Munster’s latest musings on Project Titan & Apple VR headset

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 20, 2016

Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster had been infamously predicting an Apple-branded HDTV set for years before eventually giving up on that dream. Last we heard from him was when he called for an S-upgrade to the Apple Watch in February 2016 (he may have gotten that one right; the timing, not so much).

He’s back now with some interesting thoughts (via AppleWorldToday) on Apple’s rumored electric vehicle and assumed virtual reality headset hardware. Read More

 

Sony announces $499 aftermarket CarPlay audio system, arriving in November

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 19, 2016

If you mind buying a brand spanking new car just to get CarPlay, aftermarket solutions from Pioneer, Alpine and Kenwood allow you to add Apple’s in-car infotainment system to older vehicles.

Now Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony has unveiled its first-ever in-car audio system with CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

It sports high-fidelity sound and includes voice command features, Siri integration with support for Maps, Music and iMessage features, plus other perks. Read More

 

If you live in Pittsburgh, your next Uber might be self-driving

By Cody Lee on Aug 18, 2016

Folks in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania will soon be able to summon a self-driving car from Uber, reports Bloomberg. The outlet says that the ride-sharing service plans to deploy a fleet of specially modified Volvo XC90 SUVs, supervised by humans, in the city later this month. Read More

 

Honda confirms CarPlay coming to 2017 Civic Hatchback this fall

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 15, 2016

After rolling out CarPlay in the 2016 Accord and Civic and in the 2017 Ridgeline, Japanese car manufacturer Honda today confirmed that Apple’s iPhone-connected infotainment system will be returning in the new five-door 2017 Civic Hatchback, arriving in North America this fall. Read More

 

Small Korean firm rumored to co-develop advanced hollow batteries for Project Titan

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 9, 2016

Apple’s rumored electric (autonomous?) vehicle, internally referred to as Project Titan, should use custom-designed batteries developed by engineers that Apple poached from A123 Systems, the makers of advanced batteries. According to a new report Tuesday, Apple has now tapped scientists and engineers from a small, unnamed South Korean firm to help co-develop hollow battery packs for Project Titan. Read More

 

Hyundai issues a software update bringing CarPlay to Azera and Veloster models

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 8, 2016

South Korean automobile maker Hyundai today announced a firmware update bringing Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto infotainment systems to additional vehicles, namely the latest Azera and Veloster models. The new firmware follows a firmware update in December 2015 that brought support for CarPlay to the 2016 Sonata and a few other 2015 and 2016 models.

Last week, the company said that CarPlay integration will be offered as a standard feature on the 2017 Sonata and limited-edition Tucson models.
Read More

 

CarPlay is coming to Hyundai’s 2017 Sonata and Tucson models

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 29, 2016

After releasing a firmware update which brought CarPlay support to the 2016 Sonata and a few other 2015 and 2016 models, Hyundai today announced that Apple’s CarPlay infotainment system will be offered as a standard feature on its 2017 Sonata and limited-edition Tucson models. Read More

 

Bloomberg: Apple’s Project Titan prioritizes autonomous driving amid new hirings

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2016

Apple’s rumored electric vehicle project has shifted its focus towards autonomous driving systems although that shouldn’t be interpreted as Apple abandoning efforts to design its own vehicle, Bloomberg reported today.

After bringing former hardware chief Bob Mansfield back from retirement to run its Project Titan initiative, Apple has now hired BlackBerry and Ford talent to help perfect its secret self-driving software. Read More

 

WSJ: Apple’s retired hardware chief Bob Mansfield to oversee development of Project Titan

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 25, 2016

Following a report last week alleging that Apple’s rumored electric vehicle project was internally delayed after its lead Steve Zadesky left in January 2016 for personal reasons, The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that Apple’s enlisted help of its retired hardware chief Bob Mansfield, who will now oversee development of Project Titan. Read More

 

Report: Apple’s rumored electric car project faces internal launch delay until 2021

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 21, 2016

Former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessia Lessin’s outlet, The Information, this morning ran a story behind a paywall claiming that Apple’s tentative 2020 launch target for a rumored autonomous electric vehicle may have slipped until 2021. Project Titan, as it’s code-named, “has run into challenges” after its top executive left in January, as per sources. Read More

 

Night Shift mode could be coming to Mac, Apple Watch and CarPlay

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 4, 2016

Night Shift mode, a new iOS 9.3 feature which helps users get a good night’s sleep by reducing the amount of blue light emitted from a backlight of their iOS device as the sun sets, could be coming to the Mac, the Apple Watch and even to Apple’s CarPlay infotainment system, Patently Apple writes.

A trademark application for “Computer software for controlling computer and mobile device display screens,” filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), specifically covers smartphones (the iPhone), computers (the Mac), smartwatches (Apple Watch) and cars (CarPlay) while also mentioning things like styluses, batteries, radios, integrated circuits and even fire extinguishers, which is normal for these types of trademarks. Read More

 

2017 Porsche Panamera will have CarPlay integration

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 29, 2016

Apple’s infotainment system will be integrated natively into a 2017 edition of Panamera from Porsche, the German automobile manufacturer specializing in high-performance sports cars. The car maker announced this morning that the 2017 Panamera luxury sedan has CarPlay support via a built-in 12.3-inch touchscreen.

In addition to CarPlay, the vehicle will support a new version of Porsche’s own Communication Management system with navigation, a voice control system with support for natural language parsing, Porsche Connect and more. Read More

 
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