Apple's Self-Driving Tech Is Three Years Behind Google's

Waymo's self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid 1 photo
Photo: Waymo
It seems that while the battle is much more closely fought on the smartphone market, not the same can be said about the gap between Apple and Google when it comes to the development of autonomous driving technology.
A person who knows where several players in the industry sit regarding their progress toward eliminating the need for a human driver told Business Insider that Apple's efforts are lagging far behind those of Google. To put it in the words of the unnamed individual, Apple is "where Google was three years ago."

Come to think of it, that's not actually that bad. Google has been involved in this research since 2009, meaning it has eight years of dissecting the matter under its belt. That makes it one of the first to start working on self-driving technology in the entire industry.

The company has invested so much time and so many funds that it decided to create a separate entity for the team working on the project called Waymo. The first vehicles it used, the electric bubble-cars called Firefly, have outgrown their purpose and have since been replaced by an extensive fleet of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans who join the existing Lexus RS-450h SUVs.

Nobody knows for sure when Apple started work on its Titan project, but the first time the press got news of it was about two years ago. And back then it was believed the Cupertino-based tech giant was only working on an electric car.

With all that in mind, a three-year gap at this point isn't so terrible. Not having a clear vision of what the Titan project should be about, on the other hand, is, and that's what's been happening until recently. With a new management and more precise goals, it looks like Apple might finally become the respectable competitor in the self-driving technology race that its prestige requires it to be.

The same report claims that Apple is eyeing the ride-hailing business in particular, as it sees it as the best platform to exploit autonomous vehicles. However, it has no intention of becoming a direct Uber competitor itself, relying on partnerships instead, the source said.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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