Apple Won't Be Building Its Own Autonomous Car... Because Of Boardroom Fights

Tomas Mccoy
August 24, 2017

In February 2015, Business Insider reported an email from an Apple employee which stated that the company was working on something that will give "Tesla a run for its money". Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed in June that Apple is developing autonomous-driving systems, but not an actual vehicle. The idea is to create ready-made packages of tech that can be integrated into cars at the design stage, which will be better value-for-money for a lot of manufacturers.

Under the leadership of veteran Apple executive Bob Mansfield and with the vision of Apple's chief design officer Jony Ive, the iCar sounds like it was going to be awesome.

It shouldn't come as a huge surprise that Apple's once ambitious self-driving vehicle project is no longer ambitious.

Back in April, the California DMV granted Apple permission to test its autonomous system in three Lexus RX540h SUVs on the state's roads, one of which was reportedly spotted out in the wild - but the rumored shuttle service will probably look more like the University of Michigan's MCity shuttle program launching this school year. We've known since past year that Apple was waffling on its self-driving auto project - codenamed Project Titan - and shifting its focus away from building a vehicle from the ground up toward building software that could power an autonomous vehicle, a strategy that's also been adopted by Waymo, the new Alphabet company that picked up Google's old self-driving project.

Such lofty goals in such a nascent area of technology, along with alleged "arbitrary or unrealistic deadlines" and "shifting priorities", ensnared Apple, according to the employees.

More than 5,000 Apple employees take company buses to commute from home to work and between facilities. However, there were disagreements on whether CarOS should be programmed using Apple's programming language Swift or with C++.

Apple is a relatively recent entrant to the field.

Even though had not ironed out numerous basics, like how the autonomous systems would work, a team had already started working on an operating system software called CarOS. "But we are being straightforward that it's a core technology that we view as very important", Cook said during an interview with Bloomberg at the time. The new prototype by Apple according to the sources will be ferrying people from one office to the other.

Apple reps declined to comment when we reached out abouy the report, which is unsurprising given the company's policy to stay mum on product rumors.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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