Apple’s tumultuous Project Titan no longer has the objective of making its own car

Apple is continuing to work on autonomous car technology but has halted development of its own car, company CEO Tim Cook has revealed.

Speaking to Bloomberg Television, Cook explained that the technology giant was completely focused on developing an autonomous system, something he said was "a core technology that we view as very important". He said the work was “probably one of the most difficult [artificial intellengence] projects to work on".

Apple, which had reportedly been working on its so-called iCar project, codenamed Project Titan, late into 2016, has more recently failed to close a supply deal with BMW and Daimler for its systems. ABI Research senior analyst James Hodgson believes this, and its project shift, could have cost it in the race to help produce a fully driverless car. “[Apple was] slow to begin testing autonomous systems and now it has a considerable innovation gap to close,” he said.

Apple and McLaren were also reported to be in talks last year when the tech giant was said to be looking into a takeover bid of the British supercar maker. The talks have since closed, and both parties declined to comment on the matter.

Apple's changing driverless project is said to have seen the resignation, dismissal or reassignment of 1000 staff members.

Read more:

Why the Google car is in trouble

Tech giant Apple well advanced with autonomous car

Apple focusing on driverless technology development

Who should autonomous cars save in a crash?

Join the debate

Comments
11

17 October 2016
What does Apple know about autonomous driving? To do that you need deep automotive engineering experience of which they have none. Will they compete with Tesla? Didn't think so. And Merc politely showed them the door on the way out when they wanted to dictate terms.

18 October 2016
manicm wrote:

What does Apple know about autonomous driving? To do that you need deep automotive engineering experience of which they have none. Will they compete with Tesla? Didn't think so. And Merc politely showed them the door on the way out when they wanted to dictate terms.

Presumably Tesla didn't know much about the autonomous driving before started on the technology either, and they haven't been dong this for that long either. It's not difficult to employ the right engineers, designers etc to bring in the knowhow, especially given Apple's enormous multi-billion dollar cash pile.

17 October 2016
Apple is looking to partner with a contract manufacturer like Magna Steyr AG or looking to take over a smaller manufacturer like McLaren completely, just like they do with their other product lines. I doubt they would make electronics for other manufacturers. If they are still developing car software its to use in their own car.

17 October 2016
I doubt that Apple were really looking to take over McLaren as the business would only then be a very small part of the multi billion giant Apple is. Instead, it would have been a technology transfer they'd be interested in. McLaren being one of the foremost carbon fibre automotive manufacturers, and more importantly, were able to reduce the time and cost of the tub. All very important for a next generation car if you skip aluminium pressings. As impressive as the McLaren technology is, and it is impressive, it's probably not ready to be scaled to the levels Apple would need for their own automotive project. I'm sure the talk was really just about who could do what for each of them. It might have just been to get McLaren to design the Apple car for them!

17 October 2016
I thought I read the McLaren Monocells were made by a specialist in Austria ?

18 October 2016
I.e. Tried to do find they couldn't then gradually pull back to save losing face

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

18 October 2016
Well following the story on Samsung 7 and the market share they expect to lose to Apple. The fact that Samsung make the chips for the iPhone was well published. The point being the car and the phone can be about design, software and assembly. Reading the articles on here you can buy EV running gear from GKN off the shelf. As Apples does I'm sure it could bring all the hardware bits together and design an Apple wrapping.

18 October 2016
Not surprised, it was a stupid move for the company anyway and had the whiff of getting on the EV bandwagon just because everybody else has...a fad if you like. Apple couldn't offer anything new (contrary to wide belief they're not miracle workers!) in the field. And longterm once all the other major car brands have they're EV ranges (or just car ranges as EV's will become the standard just as combustion engine vehicles have been a standard for the last century or so) Apple would not of been able to compete, and I believe Tesla's days are numbered too. In the long run they'll just become an (important mind) historical footnote in automotive history...

Cyborg

14 June 2017
First Google then Apple, hopefully Autocar will be next and realize the limitations of the autonomous myth and stop doing 5 stories a day.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

14 June 2017
Agree. You often get the impression Autocar embrace with relish the idea of not having to actually drive the car.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Vauxhall VXR8 GTS-R
    The VXR8 GTS-R is a limited-edition model that marks the demise of the V8-powered Vauxhall… probably forever
    First Drive
    22 August 2017
    There will only be 15 made, but is the GTS-R the final hurrah for the infectious Vauxhall VXR8? We've had an exclusive drive
  • Alfa Romeo Stelvio
    The new Alfa Romeo Stelvio. We've tested it on UK roads for the first time
    First Drive
    18 August 2017
    First tilt on UK roads reveals a chassis almost as absorbing as the Giulia’s, though the Stelvio’s comfort and quality levels may disappoint SUV clientele
  • Car review
    18 August 2017
    Amid a broader vRS refresh, Skoda has built its most powerful Octavia yet to take on the established order
  • Jaguar F-Type Convertible 2.0 i4 on the road
    First Drive
    16 August 2017
    Having been previously impressed by the agile four-cylinder F-Type, now is our chance to try it in the UK and in open-top form. But can this entry-level Jaguar sports car hold off the impressive Porsche Boxster?
  • Aston Martin V8 Vantage AMR
    The Aston Martin V8 Vantage AMR is a swansong for the Vantage - but the first model to sport the AMR title
    First Drive
    16 August 2017
    Aston Martin's swansong for its venerable Vantage sports car allows it to bow out with its head held high, yet the performance AMR sub-brand's first outing leaves you feeling short-changed