Apple's autonomous car, still far from being without the wheel


Apple’s autonomous car, still far from being without the wheel

Hyundai and Apple have notably begun talks regarding the construction of an electric self-driving car in 2021.

Apple's top-secret self-driving car project is still far from complete. #x27;to succeed, after eight years of great ambitions and changes of direction, according to a survey by the specialized site The Information published on Monday.

The iPhone maker, which did not immediately respond to a request from Agence France-Presse (AFP), has never publicly admitted to working on the development of a autonomous vehicle without a steering wheel, despite various leaks in the press for several years.

According to The Information, which claims to have spoken to around 20 people who were part of the project, the tech giant has experienced several hiccups, particularly with regard to the autonomous driving software, which is supposed to detect potential obstacles and adjust the driving accordingly. .

Unlike Tesla, which is gradually testing and adding autonomous functions to the software of its vehicles, or Waymo (Google) and Cruise, which have started testing their robotaxis fleets with people on board, Apple intends to market cars that are already fully autonomous. This bet is more risky financially and technically, according to the article.

He details how the project, dubbed Titan, suffered from over-ambition, like trying to build a completely new car. This is in addition to many departures of experienced executives, in particular because of the lack of support from the leaders.

Above all, the engineers wasted precious time staging demonstrations on specific routes using technology that works there, but almost nowhere else, assures the journalist.

Apple is testing its prototypes with a person behind the wheel in Los Angeles, San Diego and around Lake Tahoe in the United States. However, earlier this year, one of them nearly ran over a pedestrian at 25 km/h, and an internal investigation determined that the incident would have happened had it not been for him. x27;had been of the intervention in extremis of the employee at the wheel.

The rare leaks in the press about a potential Apple car are closely followed in the world of technology, where the Apple brand has earned a reputation for producing sophisticated, high-performance, intuitive and innovative electronic devices.

However, since the departure and death in 2011 of Steve Jobs, the emblematic co-founder of the Californian group, the company has not made a remarkable breakthrough – like iPods and iPhones had been – beyond its connected watch, the Apple Watch, and the diversification of its services.

With each new presentation of products, the market is therefore eagerly watching a self-driving car or a virtual reality headset, also in development.

According to The Information, 1 thousand people are currently working on the project Titan, which costs more than $1 billion a year, of the $22 billion Apple spends on research and development.


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