Tim Cook Confirms Apple Is Working on Self-Driving Cars
Apple CEO Tim Cook has finally confirmed that Apple is working on self-driving car technology.
Apple’s work in the automotive space has been a closely guarded secret for many years but Cook told Bloomberg earlier this month that Apple has been quietly working on self-driving cars behind closed doors.
Apple To Test Autonomous Vehicles In California: Model Lexus RX450h SUV Ready For Self-Driving Test in Silicon Valley
As part of autonomous vehicle testing program, Apple’s using a Lexus RX450h SUV as apparent by filed documents with the California DMV complying license regulations for self-driving tests in the state. Images have been captured while the vehicle was in driving mode at an Apple facility in Silicon Valley.
The SUV appears very close to the test cars used by Waymo, the former Google self-driving car company whose headquarters are also located in Apple’s Cupertino Headquarters. The decorated equipment for SUV include optical cameras, LiDAR, and radar.
Apple developing self driving car software
Apple confirmed its interest in developing self-driving software on Friday, although it is still doubtful the company will delve into actual automaking.
Steve Kenner, Apple’s director of product integrity, indicated in a Nov. 22 letter to U.S. transportation regulators that Apple is focusing on building the software to manage a self-driving car, according to the Wall Street Journal. Per the letter, the company is “investing heavily in machine learning and automation” for many purposes “including transportation.”
Apple Shuts Some Elements of Electric Self-Driving Car Project, Lays Off Workers
Apple 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.
Bob Mansfield tapped as new Apple’s Leader for self-driving cars
It is widely anticipated that former top executive Bob Mansfield will oversee the autonomous vehicle program at Apple. Mansfield, responsible for hardware engineering of the Mac-Book Air, iMac and iPad is presumed to take on active role again after having been an adviser to the company for the last years. Apple’s employees found out after it appeared that in the company’s directory all senior executives in the self-driving car program appeared to be reporting to Mr. Mansfield.
Apple car expert leaving self driving car program for personal reasons
Steve Zadesky, an industry expert in electric cars, is leaving Apple for personal reasons. This can be considered a major setback for Apple’s electric car program, which, assumable, will also be an autonomous vehicle. Last year, Apple designated the initiative—code-named “Titan”— a committed project with a projected product launch foreseen for 2019. However, so far few details are know.