Apple Is Scaling Back Ambitions on Its Self-Driving Car

25 August, 2017, 01:42 | Author: Gladys Mathis
  • Apple focusing on self-driving technology, not building cars: report

The company also put its attention on reimagining the wheel, considering the possibility of using spherical wheels -round like a globe- instead of the traditional, round ones, noting that spherical wheels could allow the vehicle better lateral movement.

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, previously admitted: "It's probably one of the most hard AI projects, actually, to work on".

In the meantime, Apple is focusing on a self-driving campus shuttle called PAIL - short for "Palo Alto to Infinite Loop". PAIL stands for Palo Alto to Infinite Loop. A team within Project Titan investigated if spherical, globe-like wheels is viable so it could give the vehicle better lateral movement, according to the Times report. The company doesn't seem to have ambitions to offer their own Apple auto in the immediate future. Apple employees close to the process described problems that emerged early in the "Titan" project that was launched in 2014. Every facet of a device or technology spends in years in research and testing before they are merged to form a fully contained and fully owned Apple product.

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According to the source, Apple now plans to develop the technology to drive an autonomous ride-sharing and ride-hailing system; think of it as an Uber without drivers, something Uber itself is also working on. Apple also looked at ways to hide a self-driving car's lidar array, which is a crucial but often unsightly component that gives such vehicles information about the environment around them. That will include a self-driving shuttle for Apple employees, but there's another far more interesting tidbit.

For now, however, the Project Titan team is still working on Apple's foray into the automotive industry and the autonomous vehicle market.

Motorised doors, augmented and virtual reality and a CarOS - similar to the bespoke iOS systems in iPhones and iPads - were also in development during the Titan project. That apparently included motorized vehicle doors that operated silently, a flush-fitting LIDAR sensor for more discreet laser range-finding for autonomous systems, and an augmented reality dashboard. Apple has received a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to test its systems on public roads in the state eventually.


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