You’ll never get behind the wheel of an Apple car. That’s because the Mac-maker’s plan is a fully autonomous vehicle, according to a trove of information about the upcoming car that came to light Monday. That means no steering wheel and no brake pedal.
But Apple does not yet have a car that’s capable of reliably driving itself. And at least one high-level exec sounds skeptical that it ever will.
Apple car will be fully autonomous
Apple’s Project Titan to develop a self-driving vehicle has been going on for years. And The Information claims to have a timeline of the ups and downs of the process.
According to its sources, Apple isn’t planning a conventional car that can take over from the driver. Instead, it’s designing a vehicle that always steers itself. Passengers don’t even face forward. They’ll be in “four seats that face inward so passengers can talk to one another,” according to The Information. Instead of having to watch the road, they can use their iPhone, iPad or Mac. The car might also have a built-in video entertainment system.
This isn’t the first leak indicating Apple aims to make a car capable of driving completely autonomously. That came in fall 2021. But this new report would seem to show that Apple’s plans for Project Titan have not changed.
Still a long way from its destination
Apple would need to get permission from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to introduce such a radical design. And the company is reportedly not close to that.
Titan developers don’t want to give the car maps – it’s supposed to use sensors to get around. But The Information says:
“Apple’s test vehicles, which are modified Lexus SUVs, struggled to navigate streets near its Silicon Valley headquarters without the maps, smacking into curbs and sometimes having trouble staying in their lanes while crossing intersections, according to two people who worked on the program. And earlier this year, a test vehicle nearly hit a jogger who was crossing the street and had the right of way, one of these people said.”
At least one top Apple executive is not impressed. Craig Federighi, SVP of software engineering, is supposedly “particularly skeptical.”
Nevertheless, Project Titan continues to move ahead. The usual timeframe thrown out for a possible release is 2025. That’s if Apple can get its car to stop trying to hit people crossing the road.