By: Nick Gambino
So the rumor has been around for quite a while. Whispers of the Apple Car or Project Titan have continued to dominate headlines over the past couple of years. I mean, how could a tech giant like Apple not have its toes in the autonomous car race?
Well, the crafty silver-haired fox Tim Cook finally let the cat out of the bag this week when he stated in an interview that the company is in fact working on the tech.
Now it seems they aren’t working on building a car from the bottom up and slapping a half-eaten apple on it and titling it iCar. No, instead Cook reveals they are working on the software tech but not only as it applies to cars. Autonomous systems are applicable to more than just cars as he puts it.
“We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects,” the CEO of Apple states in an interview with Bloomberg. “We’re not really saying from a product point of view, what we will be doing but we are being straightforward that it’s a core technology that we view as very important.”
This pretty much confirms what many had speculated or reports had alluded to, that Apple deep-sixed their effort to produce an autonomous car and instead are stepping back and dealing with the software only. Up until recently they had more than 1,000 engineers working on Project Titan.
Cook details that the disruption of the automotive industry is three-fold. Obviously there is autonomy but equally important are electric vehicles and ride-sharing. “You’ve got kind of three vectors of change happening generally in the same time frame,” he explained.
Speaking of his excitement for electric cars, “It’s a marvelous experience not to stop at the filling station or the gas station.”
Always one to be involved in anything with the potential to disrupt, when it comes to that third vector of change, in 2016 Apple invested $1 billion in China’s biggest ride-sharing service, Didi Chuxing.
So in case you were worried, Apple still has a finger in all the pies. We’ll just have to see where it takes them.
What are your thoughts on Apple getting in on the self-driving car indsutry? Comment below!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.