Apple’s secret self-driving car project has run into rough weather, encountering pothole after pothole in its quest to bring the initiative to market. The latest report on the enterprise asserts that the company has decided to make an about-turn in terms of its end goals.
Instead of building a car from scratch, Apple is apparently thinking of concentrating its efforts on the underlying technology that will make self-driving vehicles possible. This massive shift in strategy first came to light earlier this year through a Bloomberg report. Now it’s the New York Times’ chance to weigh in on the rumor.
Three sources have told the publication that Apple has closed down parts of its autonomous car program, codenamed Project Titan, and fired dozens of employees in the name of a reboot. The entire idea has supposedly been beset with problems for the past two years now, with the manufacturer pouring resources but failing to make any progress despite having over 1000 workers on hand.
One of the biggest problems highlighted by the insiders was the fact that the individuals working on the project could not explain what Apple could offer to a self-driving car which other firms could not. Competition is extremely tense in the sector. Companies like Google, Uber and Ford are all racing against each other to see who reaches the finish line first.
Further fueling speculation is the fact that original Project Titan head honcho Steven Zadesky left the company and was replaced by Bob Mansfield. It’s apparently under the latter’s leadership that Apple decided to revamp its entire strategy to software instead of car manufacturing.
According to the new report, Apple currently has a number of completely autonomous vehicles in the middle of testing. These vehicles are apparently being evaluated in limited operating routes in closed environments. Sadly, you might have to wait awhile before you can ride in one since the technology is still years away from hitting mainstream consumer use.