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Apple Asks Agency About Autonomous Autos

Tech giant has questions for NHTSA about self-driving cars.

by on Dec.05, 2016

Apple revealed a little more about its automotive interests in a recent letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Unlike Google with its little marshmallow cars scooting around its California campus and the city of Mountain View, Apple has been much more secretive about its automotive ambitions — until now.

The tech giant’s kept “Project Titan” under wraps until a recent letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asking a few questions about autonomous vehicle technology.

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The company believes the technology has the potential to “greatly enhance the human experience,” according to the letter filed with the agency on Nov. 22. In the five-page letter, the company had questions about the Obama administration’s proposed self-driving guidelines. (more…)

Apple Set to Abandon Automotive Dream

Company sets deadline for late 2017.

by on Oct.19, 2016

“We've always viewed that people love surprises," Apple CEO Tim Cook said. Surprise! It may not build a car after all.

Apple Inc. plans for the car business, code-named “Project Titan,” have fascinated the automotive industry around the world even though Apple has said little of substance about the possibility.

Now new reports are circulating that Apple has “drastically scaled back its automotive ambitions” and has even “eliminated hundreds of jobs” even though it has never acknowledged hiring folks for the uato project in the first place.

The Journal of Record!

Instead, Apple, according to several accounts circulating in the Silicon Valley media, will now concentrate on developing a system for autonomous vehicles that could be sold downstream to one of world’s car companies. (more…)

Apple’s Car Play Might be McLaren

Tech giant may be interest in British supercar maker.

by on Sep.21, 2016

If the rumors about Apple and McLaren are true, this could end up being the result of Project Titan.

After months of actions indicating that Apple may be unwilling to actually be an automotive manufacturer, it’s possible the technology behemoth is changing its mind … by throwing some of its billions of unspent cash around to acquire McLaren.

The British sportscar maker has been flirting with its own demise for years, but recently seemed to find solid footing, including unveiling new products. However, Apple approached the McLaren Technology Group about a possible acquisition, the Financial Times reported Wednesday without citing sources.

Global Auto News!

The new report runs counter to earlier stories suggesting that Apple has fired “dozens of employees” involved in Project Titan. Those moves were in sharp contrast from the aggressive hiring program that had been in places for the past year. Apple had hired a number of industry veterans from conventional automakers, as well as high-tech auto firm Tesla Motors. (more…)

Apple May Back Away from Auto Manufacturing

Tech firm reportedly shifts focus to driverless tech systems it could license to auto industry.

by on Sep.12, 2016

“We've always viewed that people love surprises," Apple CEO Tim Cook told the Washington Post.

It has been one of the worst-kept secrets in Silicon Valley – but while Apple has been widely reported to be working on a high-tech automobile program, dubbed Project Titan, new indications are that the iPhone-maker may be backing off from that effort.

The new reports suggest that Apple has fired “dozen of employees” involved in the automotive project, a sharp reversal from the aggressive hiring program that had been in places for the past year. Apple had hired a number of industry veterans from conventional automakers, as well as high-tech auto firm Tesla Motors.

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But rather than abandon Project Titan entirely, reports in The New York Times and other media sources indicate Apple is now looking to provide high-tech, autonomous – or even driverless – technology to existing automakers, rather than trying to build cars on its own. Such an effort could put it directly in competition with another tech giant, Google.

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Apple Brings Back Product Guru to Run Project Titan

Move suggest computer giant is producing a vehicle, not just software.

by on Jul.29, 2016

Apple appears to be readying to bring a car to the market with the recent rehiring of product guru Bob Mansfield.

Reports from Silicon Valley indicate that Apple brought back a trusted senior executive who helped bring to market many of the company’s signature products to oversee its efforts to build automotive program.

Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive officer, said last winter that Apple was preparing to enter the car business.

The Journal of Record!

But true to its corporate culture, Apple has remained highly secretive about its intentions and its project unlike its Silicon Valley neighbors Google and particularly Tesla and its founder Elon Musk, who seems to speak almost every day about new developments. (more…)

Apple Invests $1B in Chinese Ride-Sharing Company Didi

Tech giant extending reach into auto industry.

by on May.13, 2016

Apple invested $1 billion in China's Didi, a ride-sharing company that competes with UberChina.

Didi Chuxing Technology Co. said Friday it reached an agreement with Apple to make a strategic investment in the Chinese ride-hailing company, according to the MarketWatch.com. Didi also is significant investor in Lyft of San Francisco as is General Motors.

Earlier this year, GM invested $500 million in a strategic alliance Lyft. “We see tremendous potential in these technologies and the long-term benefits for our customers and communities around the world,” noted GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra in the automaker’s “Sustainability” report.

The Journal of Record!

Apple CEO Tim Cook has indicated that Apple is interested in taking a leading role in what is shaping up to be a significant shift in the car business. In addition, the revenue potential in the automobile business is too large for a company such as Apple to ignore, analysts suggest. (more…)

Tesla, BMW Lose Key Battery-Car Talent

Apple and Chinese start-up Future Mobility go poaching.

by on Apr.20, 2016

Several key members of the BMW i team, including the head of i8 development, have bolted.

It still refuses to acknowledge any plans to develop a car of its own, but consumer electronics giant Apple has reportedly been poaching a number of auto industry veterans for what is believed to be known internally as Project Titan – and that now includes a senior Tesla executive.

Chris Porritt, a one-time Aston Martin designer, had been more recently working at Tesla, helping in the development of its two current products, the Models S and X, as well as the upcoming Model 3 battery-electric sedan. According reports in several Silicon Valley publications, Porritt will now serve at Apple as Special Projects Group PD Administrator.

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Porritt, however, isn’t the only battery-car executive jumping ship. German automaker BMW has reportedly lost a number of key members from the team that developed it i3 and i8 electric vehicles. The group, which includes Carsten Breitfeld, leader of the team behind the i8 plug-in sports car, will now work on EV development for the Chinese-funded start-up Future Mobility Corp.

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Apple Fuels Speculative Automotive Fire with Pepsi Building Lease

Tech giant renting space in former bottling plant.

by on Mar.03, 2016

Apple's Jeff Williams has broadly hinted at the company's plans to enter the auto industry.

A few years back Pepsi told everyone to “Change the Game” and now it looks like Apple may be taking the slogan to heart with the lease of a former soft drink plant that may be the home for its oft-discussed, never-confirmed car.

Apple has leased a 96,000-square-foot industrial facility about a 10-minute drive from its current headquarters, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

News Now!

Apple has long been rumored to be building an autonomous or semi-autonomous electric vehicle, dubbed Project Titan. Senior executives at the Cupertino, California-based company have danced around the topic when pressed. (more…)

Still Secret Apple Car Project Suffers Series of Setbacks

But project moving ahead, says key rival.

by on Jan.26, 2016

Apple execs won't confirm their plans but hint of "massive change" coming in the auto industry.

While tech giant Apple isn’t ready to confirm the car project it has reportedly dubbed Project Titan, it has become what one rival calls “an open secret.” But while the program appears to be moving ahead, sources warn that it has suffered a series of unexpected setbacks.

One of the key members of a team now said to number as many as 1,000 employees plans to leave, while another senior Apple exec has expressed his frustration at the progress the program is making, according to reports from Silicon Valley.

Insight!

That said, after touring Silicon Valley this past week, Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche told the German publication Welt am Sonntag he was impressed with what he learned about the car programs at Apple and tech rival Google.

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Nearly 20 Mil Self-Driving Cars Expected to be on the Road by 2025

Dealing with the deadly “Trolley Problem.”

by on Dec.03, 2015

Autonomous vehicles, like this Google Car, could become a common sight in barely a decade.

While the first autonomous vehicles  are only expected to reach production by 2020, a new study forecasts they will catch on fast, with as many as 20 million of them likely to be operating on roads around the world by the middle of the next decade.

That said, the new study by Britain’s Juniper Research emphasizes that even by 2025, self-driving vehicles will represent less than 1% of the vehicles in use around the world. And that raises serious flags, industry analysts warning that things could get bumpy in the first years the technology is in use.

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“The research noted that concerns over the decision making capabilities of these systems have been raised and questions have been asked about the decisions autonomous vehicles would take when presented with…two disastrous outcomes,” stated a summary of the new Juniper study.

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