Apple Inc. is pushing to accelerate development of its electric car and is refocusing the project around full self-driving capabilities, according to people familiar with the matter, aiming to solve a technical challenge that has bedeviled the auto industry. For the past several years, Apple's car team had explored two simultaneous paths: creating a model with limited self-driving capabilities focused on steering and acceleration -- similar to most current cars from Tesla Inc. -- or a version with full self-driving ability that doesn't require human intervention. Under the effort's new leader -- Apple Watch software executive Kevin Lynch -- engineers are now concentrating on the second option. Lynch is pushing for a car with a full self-driving system in the first version, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. It's just the latest shift for the car effort, known as the Special Projects Group or "Project Titan," which has endured strategy changes and executive turnover since starting around 2014.
Apple is stepping up its plans to enter the car market and aims to launch a self-driving electric vehicle in 2025, according to a report. The tech company's much-rumoured automotive project has bolstered its ambitions under new leadership and is pushing for a fully self-driving vehicle with no steering wheel or pedals, said Bloomberg. The car's interior would be designed for hands-off driving, with one possible design featuring passengers sitting around a U-shaped seating formation. Apple's below-the-radar car venture – known as Project Titan – was dealt an apparent blow in September when the executive in charge of its development, Doug Field, defected to Ford. But the iPhone maker appears undaunted by the challenge of entering the competitive electric vehicle market despite a number of senior leadership changes at Titan this year, Field's the most significant among them.
An engineer has created concept images of what the upcoming Apple Car could look like when it is finally released. Artistic renderings have been created by Devanga Borah, a mechanical engineer at Tezpur University in India, of an autonomous and fully electric vehicle. Like something out of a dystopian sci-fi film, the renderings depict a bizarre white car consisting of a spherical pod that swivels around 360-degrees on four wheels. The pod has a circular entrance that flings open like a couple of saloon doors to reveal'a cocoon-like cockpit' with two seats. Reminiscent of Apple's eMac computer from 2002, the vehicle is painted in glossy white and features the Apple logo between the front and back sets of wheels.
Apple, which is rapidly losing ground in the electric vehicle industry to Tesla, GM, Ford and other automakers, is looking to have the'holy grail' option for its autonomous car by 2025: no human intervention at all. The lack of human intervention, which is being pushed by the project's new boss, Kevin Lynch (who previously led the company's Apple Watch software efforts) would be something that no automaker has yet to achieve, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the news. Tesla, for all the publicity surrounding the Elon Musk-led company, has come under fire from consumers and lawmakers over its autopilot system and how it works. In August, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened a formal investigation into the system over 11 accidents - one deadly - feared to have been caused because the system has trouble spotting parked emergency vehicles. Apple wants the'holy grail' option for its oft-rumored autonomous car by 2025: no human intervention Apple's car could have no steering wheel or pedals and passengers could sit on the side, like a limousine or a bus Other automakers, such as GM and its Cruise unit, Ford and newly public Rivian, do not yet offer completely autonomous capabilities.
Apple Inc. AAPL -2.26 % has shut down some elements of its effort to build an electric self-driving car and laid off several dozen employees, according to a person familiar with the matter. The changes to Apple's secretive initiative, code-named Project Titan, were implemented by Bob Mansfield, a veteran Apple executive who took over the project in July, the person said Friday. Project Titan's overall head count remains essentially the same, the person said. Apple has never publicly acknowledged that it is working on a car, but people familiar with the matter have previously said the effort includes hundreds of employees including software and automotive experts, as well as autonomous-driving technology engineers. The effort has hit stumbling blocks, however.