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Apple's Titan Project Is Demoted to Self-Driving Software Only

It's been two years since Apple first announced its ambitious foray into the world of car manufacturing, and all this time we haven't really seen any concrete proof of an actual Apple car.
Apple Car rendering 1 photo
Photo: Franco Grassi
It has now become apparent that it wasn't because of Apple's excellent ability to keep things secret - even though the Californian company is doing its best with the unmarked labs and CIA-level secrecy - but because there was nothing to see. The Apple car never existed outside the tech giant's plans.

A one-month-old report suggested that some of the Titan Project's employees have been laid off, but true to the private nature of the entire affair, their names have been kept secret. You sometimes get the impression that their families are being held at gunpoint by some Apple-hired hitmen. In reality, it probably all has to do with very strict contracts and the army of lawyers that Apple possesses.

In early 2016, the project saw a leadership swap which brought with it a change in mentality as well. Gone are the plans to build an electric car from scratch, with the 1,000 people involved now working on developing an autonomous driving software. Given the delay, Apple is already behind in both directions, which means it will have to play a game it's not exactly used to: catching up.

After having troubles with securing a supply chain and dealing with the low-income margins (compared to the tech business) of the automotive field, Apple had to take the decision to focus solely on the self-driving platform. What exactly the company plans to do with it once it's completed, is another matter.

It's difficult to imagine Apple selling its product to other car makers, particularly since most of them are already working on similar technologies of their own. That means that when the time comes, Apple will have to partner with an automobile manufacturer. Given the awareness the fruity brand enjoys, it should have no problems finding suitors. However, you can imagine Apple being pretty strict on the quality of the products it puts its logo on, so that might prove more of a challenge.

The Californian company may have experience with biting things, but it seems like this time it might have gone for more than it can chew. Breaking into the automotive industry isn't as easy as designing a car, but involves a lot of work and a very big investment. According to Bloomberg, the current deadline for what remains of the Titan Project is late last year, when the team is expected to deliver a feasibility test and the general direction that are to be followed. Whether the initial final term for 2020 still stands is unclear.
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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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