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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.


Apple Moving Fast on Car Project

“Project Titan” set to ship by 2019.

by on Sep.22, 2015

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

Apple could have its first car, a battery-powered, autonomous vehicle, on the road by 2019, according to a new report.

While the company, best known for its computers, iPhones and iPads, has yet to confirm it will enter the automotive business, Apple’s efforts have become increasingly visible as it hires away talent from other automakers, and meets with regulators to discuss issues such as rules on self-driving vehicles.

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The maker’s automotive project is known internally as “Project Titan,” and a new report in the Wall Street Journal says Apple has set a “ship date” of 2019, though that is not a guarantee a car would actually be ready for sale that year.


Apple Hires Key Tesla Engineer as Daimler Mulls Joint Ventures with Apple, Google

A Silicon Valley “poaching war” turns up the heat.

by on Aug.24, 2015

Apple's Jeff Williams has hinted at the possibility that the company may be looking at moving into the auto industry with more than its CarPlay system.

Apple has hired one of Tesla’s top autonomous driving engineers, according to a post on LinkedIn, the latest sign that the Silicon Valley firm best known for its smartphones and computers is getting ready to enter the auto industry.

Separately, the CEO of Daimler AG suggests he would be open to an alliance with both Apple and its high-tech rival Google, which has become a leader in the development of autonomous vehicle technology. The parent company of Mercedes-Benz also has had an ongoing relationship with Tesla.

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“Many things are conceivable,” Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche told the German magazine Deutsche Unternehmerboerse. “Google and Apple want to provide system software for cars and bring this entire ecosystem around Apple and Google into the vehicle. That can be interesting for both sides.”


The Big Question at the Geneva Motor Show: Will Google and Apple be Allies or Adversaries?

Traditional automakers express mix of fear and interest as high-tech giants explore auto options.

by on Mar.06, 2015

The Geneva Motor Show brings out all types of new models and makers, including Magna and its Mila concept, but noticeably absent: Apple and Google.

With names like Qoros and Apollo Vredestein and Rinspeed, the Geneva Motor Show brings out a mix of manufacturers and suppliers seldom seen at any other event of its kind. But two names, while absent, made their presence felt especially keenly this year.

Apple and Google were those unseen participants, traditional automakers openly wondering whether they might soon step in with the sort of advanced technologies – and deep pockets that could radically reshape the established automotive order.

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Both companies are “incredibly serious” about entering the automotive business, said Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler, during a media roundtable at the Geneva show. Both of the technology giants have been pushing to play a role in future infotainment systems, and a number of manufacturers have begun adding Apple’s Car Play system to their vehicles, as well as a similar system using Google’s Android operating system. (more…)

Apple Ready to Plug into Your Car

Maker has high-profile presence in Geneva.

by on Mar.07, 2014

Apple is gaining ground in the automotive marketplace with its CarPlay infotainment system.

While its lost ground to rival Google’s Android smartphone operating system in recent years, you’d hardly have been able to tell during this week’s Geneva Motor Show. Indeed, it seems like the brand name most commonly spoken during the well-attended event was that of Apple, as a wide assortment of manufacturers announced plans to build the high-tech firm’s new CarPlay system into their vehicles.

The list of makers who unveiled Apple-based infotainment systems this week included Ferrari, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz, with Ford, Honda, Toyota and another dozen signed on to use the technology when it appears later this year.

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“We’re moving to an era of seamless integration of digital devices and the digital automobile,” proclaimed Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and brand boss of Mercedes, which showed off the CarPlay system in its new C-Class line. The maker is expected to eventually expand its use to other model lines. (more…)