Woz: I don’t think true self-driving cars will arrive in my lifetime

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Woz: I don’t think true self-driving cars will arrive in my lifetime
Woz isn't convinced the technology will arrive any time soon.
Photo: Nichollas Harrison/Wikimedia Commons CC

Apple is working hard on a self-driving car project, but company co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak seemingly isn’t convinced that autonomous vehicles will be ruling the roads anytime soon.

At a recent auto conference, Woz pulled back his predictions about when self-driving cars will take over; saying that there are too many challenges in Level 5 autonomous vehicles.

Apple’s latest self-driving car crash is just another fender bender

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Here's how Apple Car might eliminate blind spots
Why are Waymo's self-driving cars involved in so many more crashes than Apple's?
Image: Aristomenis Tsirbas/Freelancer

A car designed to test Apple’s self-driving system was involved in a minor accident Monday, but a human was driving at the time. This is only the second such crash of an Apple car on record.

Google, and its autonomous vehicle spinoff Waymo, haven’t been so lucky over the years.

Thousands of engineers put Apple self-driving car in high gear

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Here's how Apple Car might eliminate blind spots
With so many people working on the Apple self-driving car, it's amazing that the best visuals we have are artists' concept renderings like this one.
Image: Aristomenis Tsirbas/Freelancer

Apple stays quiet about it, but the company is clearly developing a self-driving car. And this week the world was given a glimpse inside this project, showing that it’s much larger than many had previously thought.

The FBI arrested a former employee on Apple’s autonomous car design team for allegedly downloading proprietary information and attempting take it to a rival car company in China. The resulting documentation reveals the number of employees on the project.

Why Apple should build a car

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Apple Car might be coming, but will it be special?
Something like this concept Apple car would become a reality if a couple of analysts are correct.
Image: Aristomenis Tsirbas/Freelancer

For the last few years, Apple has been investigating making autonomous cars, even though this is well outside its core competency of computers and their accessories.

The move leaves many observers scratching their heads, but a pair of analysts put together reasons why self-driving automobiles should be Apple’s next product category.

Apple lures away senior self-driving car engineer from Google’s Waymo

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Project Titan
One of Alphabet-subsidiary Weymo's senior engineers now works on Apple autonomous cars like this one.
Photo: Idiggapple/Twitter

Jaime Waydo is leaving Google’s Waymo for Apple. This should help silence anyone who doubts that Apple is serious about its autonomous car efforts.

Waydo describes her old job at this Alphabet subsidiary as “Helping make self driving cars a reality!” Presumably, that’s what she’ll be doing in her new position too.

Mysterious photo could reveal Apple Car proving ground

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Google Earthpic
Apple's autonomous vehicle project is still rolling.
Photo: Google Earth

What do crop circles have to do with Apple? No, it’s not 1996 — when an Apple laptop was used to save the world from aliens in Independence Day.

Instead, a new report claims that an image on Google Earth depicts a former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles facility in Arizona that Apple may be using to test autonomous vehicles. A satellite image shows a “proving ground” with urban street configurations, such as crosswalks and intersections, which would be necessary for putting a self-driving vehicle through its paces.

Google’s self-driving minivans are finally here

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Meet Waymo's self-driving minivan.
Meet Waymo's self-driving minivan.
Photo: Waymo

Waymo offered a first look at its fleet of hybrid Chrysler Pacifica minivans today, showing off vehicles that pack an array of sensors and software that enable autonomous operation.

The self-driving fleet of 100 minivans from Waymo (which is run by Google’s parent company, Alphabet) will hit the streets in early 2017.

If Cupertino’s cooking up an Apple car, here are the features we want

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Concept_Car___Syd_Mead_Comp_by_3dnutta
What would an Apple car look like? Concept art: Josh Baré/DeviantArt CC
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If Apple really is working on a car, what would it look like? And what would we want it to look like and do?

The growing chorus of rumors about Apple’s possible automotive ambitions — and the hard facts about the car designers it’s already recruited — don’t prove Cupertino is working on a car. But if Apple is staffing up to transform the transportation industry, what features might it deliver in its human-transport device?

Here’s what we’d like to see in the very first iCar.