For the last couple of years, Apple has covertly been developing “Project Titan” Apple’s version of an autonomous car that they are currently testing. Recently, it has been released that Apple is currently focusing on the car, and plans to release in 2024-2025. Project Titan is also planned to be an electric car with lots of features that are compatible with iOS devices.
Apple vs. Tesla
Tesla CEO Elon Musk had previously given his remarks on Apple’s “Project Titan” and that it was an “open secret”. When this project was still just a rumor, Apple was also rumored to have been interested in purchasing in Tesla, which never happened. Workers were also being traded back and forth from Apple and Tesla, during a huge poaching war where each company wanted the best employees working on their products. Apple has also hired employees from many other companies, such as Fiat, Mercedes, and Ford to name a few.
Since 2017, Apple has tested self-driving vehicles on public roads in California. These vehicles are outfitted with a variety of different sensors to test self-driving software and LiDAR equipment capabilities. Apple has released statements about LiDAR suppliers that are much more affordable that the current industry standard. These will be crucial for the self-driving software as these sensors will scan the surroundings and tell the software what is happening around the car.
On the software aspect of the car, Apple has employed multiple teams to split up the monumental task of developing an autonomous driving software. In 2019, Apple bought Drive.ai, a startup that had been working on autonomous vehicles in Texas. After taking over the company, Apple researched more into the software. One team in Canada consists of 24+ BlackBerry QNX employees, which is a crucial aspect of almost all car softwares as the operating system. Yet another team is developing the software that will run on the system, such as heads-up displays that notify the driver of important information while operating and other self-driving capabilities.
In addition to Apple’s ventures in the Apple Car, another self-driving effort is PAIL(Palo Alto to Infinite Loop) which is planned to transport employees from Palo Alto to Apple’s main office of operations. It is a self-driving shuttle service that will most likely be dependent on the success of Apple Car’s self-driving software.