Apple Working On A Driverless Autonomous Systems As It Tests It On Employee Shuttle Bus

Reports indicate that Apple is developing a driverless shuttle bus that will be used to ferry employees to their offices from Infinity Loop. The autonomous shuttle bus project is named PAIL – Palo Alto to Infinity Loop. It had initially been reported that Apple was developing an autonomous car where the intentions of the iPhone maker were to revolutionize driving.

Some of the features of the driverless car included spherical wheels which would have ensured better lateral movement as well as motorized doors. This effort floundered, however, as a result of internal bickering. An overarching vision was also lacking and this led to a couple of management problems and employee defections which saw the project abandoned with Apple focusing its energies on developing autonomous systems instead.

Project Titan

The ambitious project was known as Project Titan and was kicked off three years. The project was working within very strict timelines as they had set 2019 as a release date. Heading the project was Steve Zadesky who it has been reported was keen on developing a semi-driverless car such as Tesla’s. This was in conflict with the vision Apple’s head of design, Joni Ive, had.

Consequently Apple hired Bob Mansfield, a company veteran, to lead Project Titan. Mansfield ended up scrapping plans for a fully-fledged autonomous Apple car. He also shrunk the team working on Project Titan but it is now being expanded as the Cupertino, California-based tech giant concentrates on autonomous systems.

Waymo’s strategy

Apple is not the only tech firm that has had to scale back on its driverless car ambitions. Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving unit, is also concentrating on developing autonomous car systems and has consequently signed partnership deals with various automakers whose cars Google will install its system.

Part of the reason technology companies are turning to autonomous car companies is that it presents a huge opportunity with regards to the services they could offer. For instance, data obtained via driverless car systems will be useful in driving the passenger economy. A study commissioned by Intel Corporation earlier in the year revealed that the passenger economy in autonomous cars, including productivity and entertainment services provided by tech firms will be worth approximately $800 billion within the next two decades. By 2050 the passenger economy could be worth as much as $7 trillion.

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