Don't count on controlling the steering wheel of an Apple-branded vehicle when it comes out because the first Apple Cars could be robotaxis designed to deliver food and the like.
If you're in the Phoenix, AZ area and you'd like to take a ride in a self-driving car, Alphabet-owned Waymo now offers an iOS app. Waymo One serves Phoenix's East Valley area presently, though the company hopes to expand over time.
Apple has held preliminary discussions with four unnamed suppliers of LiDAR sensors for self-driving vehicles. That might indicate that the Cupertino giant has rebooted its self-driving hardware, code-named Project Titan, although the sensors could also be for the vehicles used in the company's in-house shuttle service for employees.
Apple this week reportedly laid off more than two-hundred employees from its stealthy autonomous vehicle group, dubbed Project Titan.
Other employees who were impacted by the project's restructuring are staying at Apple, but moving to different parts of the company.
According to people familiar with Apple's motives who spoke with CNBC, the layoffs were internally billed "as a kind of restructuring under the relatively new leadership."
A spokesperson for the California firm was quoted as saying:
We have an incredibly talented team working on autonomous systems and associated technologies at Apple. As the team focuses their work on several key areas for 2019, some groups are being moved to projects in other parts of the company, where they will support machine learning and other initiatives, across all of Apple.
We continue to believe there is a huge opportunity with autonomous systems, that Apple has unique capabilities to contribute, and that this is the most ambitious machine learning project ever.
"The most ambitious machine learning project ever" could not be a more apt description of any autonomous driving project, really.
Apple last August hired Doug Field, Tesla's engineering vice president, to lead the Project Titan team alongside Apple's former un-retired hardware chief Bob Mansfield.
Although investors have burned billions of dollars on autonomous driving startups and companies like Tesla, Uber, Waymo and Cruise, the technology just isn't there yet.
In 2016, Project Titan shifted focus from electric cars to autonomous driving systems, but fruits of those efforts have yet to materialize as details of what Apple's up to are hazy.
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Apple has expanded its fleet of vehicles available for self-driving testing in recent months. In California, it now has the third largest fleet. What Apple plans on doing after this testing remains to be seen.
Today, Waymo has the world’s first and only fleet of fully self-driving cars on public roads.
Canada-based BlackBerry is betting its future on a business that makes software for next-generation driverless cars after abandoning production of its once-ubiquitous smartphones due to strong competition from iPhone and Android.
Apple's autonomous car project is an open secret in Silicon Valley. The latest update comes from a report on Jalopnik that asserts Apple is leasing the a proving ground previously owned by Fiat-Chrysler.
Apple's kept its self-driving research secret for years, but now the company has publicized some of its autonomous driving software techniques that improve obstacle detection.
Here's your closer look at Apple's autonomous Lexus vehicle, courtesy of self-driving startup Voyage co-founder MacCallister Higgins who captured a video of the SUV and posted it to Twitter last night.
Apple's Project Titan initiative has shifted from building its own automobile to designing autonomous driving software so the Cupertino giant, according to Business Insider this morning, now appears to be eyeing the ride-hailing and ride-sharing market.
Didi Chuxing, the leading ride-hailing company in China, has opened an artificial intelligence lab near Apple's Cupertino headquarters, reports Recode. The lab is located in Mountain View, CA and it will focus on "intelligent driving systems."
Apple last May invested $1 billion in Didi, which earned it a seat on the company's board, and given that it's rumored to be working on its own self-driving system, the location of the new R&D lab—6 miles from Cupertino—is interesting.