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Apple gives up on self-driving cars

by on12 September 2016

Too innovative

The fruity tax dodger Apple has pulled out of the race to build self-driving cars because the industry was not doing what it was told.

Apple’s Project Titan, which was only ever mentioned in the company’s favourite newspapers, has been changed.

Apparently all those working on Apple’s self-driving car have been fired and whole sections connected with the project have also been forced to clean out their desks.

According to New York Times sources, who have been briefed but cannot go public with what they’ve been told, Apple is retrenching and the self-driving car is one of the biggest projects to be scrapped.

For two years Apple hired and reassigned   over 1,000 employees to work on the car project. It picked up automotive industry veterans and experts in battery technology and machine vision.

According to the Tame Apple Press the reason pulling out of the programme was because Apple could not make it “special”. However, like most examples of Apple spin, the story is simpler and darker. Apple had no experience working in the car industry and depended on finding a partner in the car industry who was prepared to do what it was told. Unfortunately for Apple, its negotiations with people who made cars did not go well. They would not be bullied at all and actually knew much more than Jobs’ Mob.

Apple continued developing the project even when it knew that it would either have to start making the cars itself, which would be a disaster, or pull out completely. Then in July, Bob Mansfield, a veteran Apple executive who had worked closely with Steve Jobs, was brought back to take over the self-driving car project.

According to Bloomberg he ordered that the initiative prioritising the development of an autonomous driving system. Although Bloomberg said Apple is not abandoning efforts to design its own vehicle, pulling the plug now would mean it would take Jobs’ Mob years to get back into the race.

Meanwhile Mansfield hopes that once Apple has designed its driving system the car makers will eventually see sense and go for it. The New York Times sources said Apple told employees the recent layoffs were due to a “reboot” of the car project. It thinks that means a re-start on a project that will eventually result in an Apple self-driving car. However, the New York Times sacrificed its credibility on reporting Apple as a company a long time ago. You don’t “reboot” a project and then make it go on the same tracks that it was before; you also don’t lay off most of the staff.

What is more likely is that Apple is going to copy Google’s business plan and develop technology platform and software suite to enable or empower self-driving cars and hope to sell it later. While that might give Apple a product to sell, there is no guarantee that the car companies will listen any more than they do now. If the car companies have technology coming from Google, Nvidia and the rest, why on earth would they want to use stuff from Jobs’ Mob?

Last modified on 12 September 2016
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