Apple is reportedly using self-driving shuttles for employees and scaling back on its autonomous vehicle ventures


American computing giant Apple is downsizing its self-driving car dreams, according to a story from the New York Times.

Citing a number of anonymous sources close to Apple, the Times reports that the company is scaling back on its previously reported autonomous vehicle effort, Project Titan.

Apple is also testing out a self-driving shuttle service to ferry employees from the company’s offices in Palo Alto to its new main campus in Cupertino. The self-driving shuttle service is called PAIL, short for Palo Alto to Infinite Loop.

The Times reported that PAIL isn’t fully operational yet.

This is the latest autonomous vehicle news out of Apple since July 2017, when CEO Tim Cook spoke with Bloomberg’s Emily Chang to confirm that Apple’s interest in the automotive industry lay in what he called “autonomous systems.”

This latest news out of the New York Times seems to confirm that Apple is still invested in working on autonomous systems, but that it’s not quite ready to debut any consumer-grade products.

According to the Times, Project Titan was more than a trial-and-error tinkering project. Apple allegedly had plans to completely redesign the very idea of a car, working on motorized doors and even the possibility of literally reinventing the wheel in a more spherical shape.

The Times also reported that Project Titan’s early results were hampered by its “size and by the lack of a clearly defined vision of what Apple wanted in a vehicle.”

Reportedly the Project Titan team was unable to agree on various aspects of the project, including the programming language to build CarOS.

For now, however, the Project Titan team is still working on Apple’s foray into the automotive industry and the autonomous vehicle market.

The company received permits to test self-driving vehicles in California earlier this year. Additionally, there were rumours in October 2016 that Apple was even testing Project Titan in Ottawa.

Source: The New York Times