TECH

Apple's Failed 'Project Titan' Was a Fully Self-Driving Venture

The abandoned Apple Car has changed gears several times over the past decade, but ultimately the challenge of full self-driving proved insurmountable — and continues to elude the industry as a whole.

Apple hoped to create a car that would revolutionize the industry, but ultimately abandoned its dream of an electric car. While companies like Tesla had also hoped to build a car with Level 5 self-driving technology, they wisely decided to iterate on the idea with limited self-driving today and the promise of full self-driving (FSD) in the future. .

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports that Apple's decade-long “Project Titan” ultimately failed because faith in Apple's engineering team to solve the mystery of FSD technology eventually turned to arrogance.

Apple set out to make a leap in the industry by creating a car that could drive itself completely, without a steering wheel or pedals. It would also be unlike anything else on the market at the time.

According to Gurman, the company and its engineering team felt invincible in 2014. In the recent past, Apple revolutionized smartphones, tablet computers and the entire music industry — and was preparing to revolutionize the watch industry.

In hindsight, Gurman noted that a car design that “would still reflect Apple's design cues and be fully integrated into the company's product ecosystem,” likely created in partnership with an existing manufacturer, would appeal to the fan base companies.

Instead, all design work was centered around the advanced concept of a truly “self-driving” car that does not require human control. Gurman quotes a source involved in the decision as likening the plan to trying to “skip all the early iPhone models and go straight to the iPhone X.”

Apple executives realized the folly of their “big bet” several years ago, but have already spent billions to realize the original vision.

Even if the engineering department made a real breakthrough in the field of autonomous driving, the cost of the project, potential profits and costs to the consumer — rumored to be more than $100,000 — became unstable.

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