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    What We Know (Till Now) About The Apple Car Project

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    Team Applesutra
    Team Applesutra Jan 29, 2019

    Can’t wait to flaunt your shiny white Apple car? Well, hate to shatter your million-dollar dream, but you might have to wait a little longer to show off this futuristic car that Apple has been talking about for so long.

    For those who’ve got no clue what we’re talking about, here’s a quick recap. (Also, maybe come out of that hermit shell of yours and be more in touch with the world in general?)

    The rumors of the mighty Apple car began in 2014.  This top secret project, codenamed ‘Project Titan’, was focused on developing a self-driving vehicle. Apple reportedly hired hundreds of engineers to work on this super sci-fi car, but things didn’t go as smoothly as planned.

    In 2016, Apple laid off dozens of employees and decided to move away from developing a full-blown car. Instead, it chose to focus on developing self-driving systems that could be integrated with the existing cars instead.

    But that idea didn’t stick for long. In 2018, rumors suggested that the Apple Car had sneakily crept its way back into the Apple HQ, and of course the spotlight. In fact, the company’s LIDAR-equipped self-driving Lexus SUVs were spotted in the wild.

    And most recently, news broke that Doug Field, the former VP of Mac hardware engineering at Apple (who left to join Tesla in 2013) had returned to Apple to work on Project Titan. And that’s not even the end of it! The iPhone maker hired former Tesla designer Andrew Kim in December 2018. In fact, Cook himself was quoted saying how incredibly important machine learning and autonomous cars were for Apple’s future.

    Sounds promising, but the latest round of layoffs does nothing to instill hope that the company is still serious about building an actual car. Instead, it poses questions about Apple’s ambitions regarding autonomous vehicles on the whole.

    When questioned, an Apple spokesperson acknowledged the 200+ layoffs of the employees and said, “We still see opportunity in the space. We have an incredibly talented team working on autonomous systems and associated technologies at Apple. As the team focuses their work on several key areas for 2019, some groups are being moved to projects in other parts of the company, where they will support machine learning and other initiatives, across all of Apple.

    We continue to believe there is a huge opportunity with autonomous systems, that Apple has unique capabilities to contribute, and that this is the most ambitious machine learning project ever.

    While you never know what’s cooking behind Apple’s closed doors, one thing’s for sure. If Apple ever launches a self-driven car, it’s going to be a big leap for Apple in terms of tech and culture. Maybe that’s why they have been taking nervous baby steps ever since the project started.

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