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, 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


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


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


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


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


Honda says CarPlay coming to 2017 Accord refresh

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 24, 2016

Japanese car manufacturer Honda currently uses Apple’s CarPlay infotainment system in the 2016 Accord and Civic, as well as in the 2017 Ridgeline.

Today, the company announced that CarPlay will be returning in the 2017 Accord which will be arriving in showrooms on Monday, starting at $22,355. Read More


George Hotz’s $1,000 kit will transform your car into a self-driving one

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 7, 2016

George Hotz aka “GeoHot” is one of the pioneers of the early jailbreak scene. In December 2015, Bloomberg Businessweek ran a lengthy profile focused on Hotz’s new project: a self-driving car kit. He’s since secured funding for the project, Forbes reported, and now the kit that promises to transform your car into a self-driving vehicle for just $1,000 seems to be becoming a reality, as The Verge reports. Read More


Apple shows interest in the technology behind charging stations for electric vehicles

By Christian Zibreg on May 25, 2016

In yet another indication that Apple’s secretive electric vehicle effort, dubbed Project Titan, isn’t just a pipe dream, Reuters said in a report this morning that recent hirings have revealed Apple’s interest in exploring the technology behind charging stations for electric vehicles while hinting that it could consider engineering a similar technology. Read More


BMW to finally kick off CarPlay roll out this fall with X5M and X6M models

By Christian Zibreg on May 20, 2016

BMW still doesn’t have any vehicle on the market with integrated CarPlay support, but that’s about to change this fall, Bimmerpost said Friday. As the German-language publication gleaned from BMW’s official price list, BMW’s mid-size luxury crossover models, the X5M and X6M, will have built-in CarPlay when they arrive in August. Read More


Uber starts testing self-driving car technology

By Christian Zibreg on May 20, 2016

Uber announced yesterday that it began testing a self-driving car technology of its own, with the ultimate goal of potentially replacing drivers with computers for its ride-hailing service in a not-so-distant future. Read More


Apple wants to lease a 800,000 square foot warehouse for Project Titan R&D work

By Christian Zibreg on May 6, 2016

The Wall Street Journal yesterday shared some rather interesting development regarding Silicon Valley’s worst-kept secret, an Apple-designed electric car, dubbed Project Titan. The firm is apparently seeking a massive 800,000 square foot warehouse, presumably to keep research and development work on Project Titan secret for as long as possible.

Furthermore, the iPhone maker is said to be in the process of expanding Project Titan team, which reportedly had about 600 employees last year, according to sources. Read More


Ford finally rolling out CarPlay starting with 2017 Escape model in May

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 18, 2016

Car maker Ford said on Friday that a new Escape model is going to officially become its first vehicle with CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Ford’s 2017 Escape puts emphasis on maintaining the quality that made the vehicle an award-winner and the second best-selling Ford product in the United States last year.

In addition to CarPlay and Android Auto, the new Escape also includes a capable driver-assist technology and all-new Sync Connect that supports features like remote start and door locking through the new FordPass platform. Read More


Fiat CEO advises Apple against building a car on its own

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 2, 2016

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has a piece of advice for Apple regarding Silicon Valley’s worst-kept secret that it is building an electrical vehicle: don’t do it on your own but if you must, have an established car maker mass produce a custom vehicle for you according to your specifications.

“If they have any urges to make a car, I’d advise them to lie down and wait until the feeling passes,” Marchionne told journalists at the Geneva auto show. Read More


Cook: Apple ultimately may decide not to make a car at all

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 22, 2016

In a Q&A with Adam Lashinsky of Fortune published Monday, Apple’s boss Tim Cook suggested that his company ultimately may decide not to make a car at all, but hinted Apple is “exploring” various “technologies” and “products” in general.

He also responded to concerns about peak iPhone, talked about how Apple behaves in a down cycle and how the company’s culture is evolving, revealed that Apple will start moving into its upcoming iSpaceship in 2017 and explained why services are important in Apple’s product mix, among other topics of interest. Read More


iPhone jailbreaking pioneer George Hotz is building a self-driving car of his own

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 16, 2015

George Hotz aka ”Geohot”, one of the pioneers of the early jailbreak scene, is building a self-driving car of its own, according to a lengthy profile published today by Bloomberg Businessweek.

If you frequent this website, you’re probably aware that Hotz is credited with becoming the first person to carrier-unlock an iPhone, which allowed users to use their handset with other carriers.

Much like he’d hacked the original iPhone, he’s now done the same with his ordinary 2016 Acura ILX sedan. Working in his garage, he’s managed to turn the Acura into a self-driving vehicle in about a month, by putting a laser-based radar on the roof, mounting a camera near the rearview mirror and attaching a 21.5-inch screen and a joystick to the dashboard. Read More