APPLE AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE
Apple has one of the most secretive autonomous vehicle programs. The world’s most valuable company named its self-driving program ‘Project Titan’. Apple is said to extend into the autonomous vehicle sector in its search for the next big thing. It is uncertain if the little know project Titan points to the company being ultra-secretive or if has defined a strategy at all and ultimately falling behind the rest of its competitors such as Google in the race to lead in the self-driving sector. During the last couple of years, rumors have circulated that Apple executives have approached various vehicle manufacturers, such as McLaren, in a bid to acquire a vehicle manufacturer.
APPLE PROJECT TITAN IN THE NEWS
2018 Week 4 - Apple extends test fleet
Apple expanded its self-driving fleet to 27 according to Bloomberg as it registered 24 more vehicles on the Californian autonomous vehicle testing program. Apple which trails its competitor Google by a mile will extend its test fleet which started with 3 Lexus RX450h SUV’s in California after gaining a permit from the State’s DMV in April 2017.
2017 Week 47 - Apple lifts veil on Project Titan, slightly
For long Apple has kept its self-driving program under wraps causing many to think that the company is losing the race against its competitor Google and the rest of the market. Apple’s secretive autonomous project named Project Titan received a permit to test its systems on three 2015 Lexus RX450h cars on California’s public roads in April 2017.
According to Reuters researchers at Apple developed a system only using Lidar to detect cyclists and pedestrians. The report by researchers Yin Zhou and Oncel Tuzel was published in the independent online journal arXiv. According to the paper, Apple developed a system called “VoxelNet” which uses fewer sensors and is more effective in detecting three-dimensional objects. To date, autonomous systems used a combination of camera’s and Lidar to view the world around the car.
Previous reports claimed that Apple set itself a deadline of 2017 to prove the feasibility to produce an autonomous driving system. The cover picture shows one of the prototypes associated with Apple’s Project Titan.
2017 Week 15 - Apple test self-driving car
Apple joined the growing number of companies authorized to test autonomous vehicles on California’s public roads. Tech companies have recently encroached on automakers territory, with 11 of the 21 companies on the list of permit holders authorized by the California DMV now being from the sector. Uber, a tech company, lost its permit in February 2017.
According to the permit Apple, based in Paulo Alto, is allowed to test three 2015 Lexus RX450h vehicles on public roads. According to the rules of the autonomous testing program, each vehicle should have two drivers, usually engineers, at all times in the vehicle.
It is not yet clear what Apple’s self-driving strategy is, news over the last two years have been conflicting, ranging from the company either following the Google route of not building car’s but only systems to the Tesla route, building an Apple iCar. The world’s most valuable tech company tagged its self-driving efforts as Project Titan.
2017 Week 9 - Project Titan deadline set
2017 Week 2 - Tesla poaches Apple execs
Tesla bags two senior executives from Apple. The world’s leading electric vehicle manufacturer this month acquired Chris Lattner, responsible for Apple’s Swift application software head, and Matt Casebolt, senior director of Design for Apple’s Mac range and listed on over 50 Apple patents. Matt is filling the position of Senior Director Engineering, Closures and Mechanisms at Tesla, while Chris’s experience in leading an over 200 strong engineering team would stand him in good stead as Vice President of Autopilot Software.
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