According to Bloomberg, a secret self-driving car project created by Apple — which the tech giant has not publicly acknowledged — is changing course, with the company reportedly abandoning supposed plans for a self-driving vehicle without pedals or a steering wheel.
- The project – codenamed ‘Titan’ – has reportedly been underway since 2014, but it’s unclear what the car’s design will be or when it will be released, as Apple keeps its plans under wraps and the information is based on leaks.
- Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, reported on Tuesday that the company has moved toward a car with a steering wheel and pedals, with only fully autonomous driving on highways, after full deployment of fully self-driving cars proved unrealistic given current technology. .
- Apple is also pushing back the launch date to 2026, according to Bloomberg, the latest delay after several other target dates for a vehicle, some as early as 2019.
- The design is still in the “pre-prototype” stage, according to Bloomberg, with plans for self-driving capabilities now focused on allowing motorists to perform tasks unrelated to highway driving, while encouraging them to resume manual control on small streets and in bad weather. . weather.
- Apple shares followed the Bloomberg report, falling more than 2.5% on Tuesday afternoon to $142.92 (135.91 euros), outperforming the Nasdaq Composite, which fell 2%.
- Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.
General Motors, Alphabet and Amazon are all working with regulators to present plans for a self-driving robotic hub without pedals or steering wheels, which the companies envision as competitors to ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft in cities.
For years, rumors have circulated that Apple has ambitious plans to enter the auto industry and position itself as a competitor to Tesla, which is at the forefront of self-driving innovation. Moves such as the hiring of longtime Lamborghini executive Luigi Trapporelli earlier this year have only raised expectations. But skepticism has grown in recent months about the future of self-driving cars, with Ford CEO Jim Farley saying on an earnings conference call in October that “low-cost, widely autonomous vehicles are far from a reality.” Tesla CEO Elon Musk also moderated expectations for fully self-driving cars during a third-quarter earnings conference call, saying that Tesla cars weren’t “quite ready because no one was ‘behind the wheel.'” Tesla is said to be facing a federal criminal investigation. and an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into allegations about the safety of driver assistance systems.
Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Nicholas Rayman
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