Apple’s Project Titan Autonomous Vehicle Faces Bumpy Road with Exec Defection
When it comes to successful products in the high tech market, it is hard to get more successful than Apple. Yes, Apple computers and iPhones are still hot items that lead the company’s sales. And now comes further word from theguardian.com. that Apple plans on entering the autonomous vehicle market. The planners say they can have the first cars ready to hit the road in the next four years—2025.
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.
Bloomberg reported that the ambitious targets have been set by Field’s replacement, the Apple Watch software executive Kevin Lynch. He is aiming for a fully self-driving car within four years—if the company can pull off a self-driving system within that timeframe. It will need to compete with the likes of Tesla, Lucid, and others with self-driving capabilities.
“We continue to believe it’s a matter of when, not if, Apple enters the EV [electric vehicle] race,” said Dan Ives, analyst at U.S. investment firm Wedbush Securities.
Ives added that Apple would be better off teaming up with a rival like Tesla or Volkswagen, given the challenges involved. Bloomberg reported that Apple has discussed partnerships with manufacturers.
“We would rather see Apple partner on the EV path than start building its own vehicles/factories, given the margin and financial model implications down the road, coupled with the strategic product risk around such a gargantuan endeavor,” Ives said.
Bloomberg also reports that not everyone at Apple thinks this is a good idea. There are problems with the chip shortage around the globe and some other technical issues that have yet to be resolved have raised some red flags. Some analysts say it will be 2028 before Apple’s EV will be available.
Since it’s Apple, we can be certain it will have a unique design. One of the car interiors being pondered by Apple, according to Bloomberg, is similar to the “lifestyle” model designed by an electric vehicle startup, Canoo. Described by Canoo as a “loft on wheels,” the vehicle has a U-shaped seating arrangement at the back.
There is a lot of investment dollars available these days for electric vehicles, and especially those with self-driving capabilities. Apple was asked to comment on the Bloomberg article but declined. This has been a long time coming. In 2015, the Guardian revealed that Apple was working on a self-driving vehicle and was scouting secure locations in the San Francisco Bay area for testing.
Stay tuned. Seeflection.com will let you know if and when Apple actually gets its Project Titan on the road. There are rumors of cloak and dagger or behind-the-scenes activity that have had tongues wagging as well. The fact that some former Tesla employees have been hired by Apple to work on Project Titan might be the reason for some of these rumors.
read more at theguardian.com