It looks like Apple turns the Titan project, whose goal was the development of the last dream of Steve jobs – own car.
During the first iPhone when the smartphone was neither multi-tasking nor the functions “copy-insert”, users joked that if Steve jobs released his car, she would have square wheels and it went in a straight line.
In every joke there is a joke share. After the death of Steve jobs, the journalists found out that Apple indeed has plans to build its own electric car. Some sources pointed to the fact that it was a dream of Steve jobs, which decided to bring to life his successor Tim cook.
According to other sources, the project, called Titan, was born as a response to the initiative of the eternal rival Google has long been working on its own unmanned car. And, of course, to compete with Elon Musk and his Tesla Motors, which is trying to take away the laurels of Apple the most innovative company in the world.
And now, after several years of intrigues and rumors, the fate of the project Titan finally clear. This is not the outcome he dreamed of fans of the company. Apple began the reorganization and reduction of its ghostly automotive division. And apparently, no iCar in the near future we will not see.
The automotive world is on the threshold of two large-scale revolutions that will fundamentally change ideas about the car as means of travel. First, all moving towards a phasing out of mass usage of internal combustion engines. Some European countries (Norway, Germany) are even discussing bills with a specific time frame (until 2030).
Secondly, more and more companies are experiencing successful system pilot personal vehicles. This movement is headed by Google, although work in this direction almost all the major manufacturers.
Sooner or later both the revolution will merge into a single “ecstasy”, leading to the establishment of a new type of car with an electric motor and automated control.
Apple is usually in no hurry to come to the ball first, preferring to give all market participants “to speak”, and then offering a revolutionary product. Something expected from Apple in the case of cars.
The company quietly worked on the project Titan, while Tesla perfected his autopilot until the drones Google has put millions of miles on the roads of Nevada, while Uber launched unmanned taxi in Pittsburgh.
And suddenly, like a bolt from the blue, came the news that Apple has significantly thinned out quite large (over 1,000 employees) state project Titan.
As Nv says, Apple has cut several hundred employees of this division and asked him a new direction which no longer provides for the creation of your own vehicle. In particular, the Titan has left more than 100 programmers and two hundred engineers. It also became known that the project has left a former Ford engineer Steve Sadecki, which, however, remained to work at Apple going into another project.
Citing its own anonymous sources, Bloomberg suggest that Apple will develop software that will allow the company to operate with existing products.
Earlier it was reported that the company’s management has set the team project Titan time until the second half of 2017, in order to prove the feasibility of the project. However, apparently, the decision was made now: Apple will not be developing their own car.
Among the possible reasons the experts referred to the uncertainty that in this market you can earn a lot (for example Tesla, which for many years was in need of subsidies, very eloquent). As well as the technical complexity and the need to compete with venerable producers that result in huge costs in development and research.
Actually, Google already faced this choice before, experts say, and did it in the same direction. Google has no plans to develop its own cars, preferring to work in partnership with existing manufacturers.
According to the American automobile analyst Eric Dennis, theoretically, Apple could put a good margin on the premium electric car under its brand. But to produce a car of this class with no compromise on level of quality very difficult, said Dennis. A failure in this area could lead to a blow to Apple’s reputation in other areas of the company.
Some experts believe that the matter of motivation. Apple it is slightly different from that used by Tesla and Uber, says columnist Mashable Damon Beres.
Little Apple is interested in is to somehow improve the way you get from point A to point B, says Beres, the company’s much more interesting is what happens to you along the way.
He quoted expert on robotics Raja Chatila, who believes that whoever controls the machine, has excellent opportunities for gathering information about people who are on the streets.
“There’s a lot of surveillance cameras, which help the work of the autopilot, explains Chatila. Is another way to observe people and their habits.”
Simply put, self-driving car can collect huge amounts of information that surrounds them. As for the technical giant of this information is priceless.
Yes, of course, if Apple created an electric car that can compete with Tesla, this could be a revolution. But perhaps the company decided that creating software for Autonomous cars that are able to collect data, it is much more promising idea involves Beres.
Google and Facebook earn good money in targeting advertising. And it requires detailed information about consumer preferences. It is only by analyzing their activity, habits, inclinations. Today advertisers are starting to apply a concept, once presented in the blockbuster Steven Spielberg’s minority report.
We are talking about billboards capable of interacting with the user, for example, identifying it by application in the smartphone (on scanning eyes like Spielberg, it is not).
Such “smart” advertising space will be able to show targeted ads like Google does in your Gmail Inbox
Autonomous cars can develop this idea even further, says Beres. They will follow you constantly, know where you live. Where you like to stop to drink coffee. About what school you go to drop off their children.
Apple, like Google, is interested not in producing by themselves device. But to create an entire platform in which is the life of the user. Hence, for example, the race for smart home systems, which clashed with Apple and Google.
And the same Google Assistant, who lives in smartphones Pixel, can operate as a smart home and Autonomous cars. Probably, Apple wants to create a response system that will be running Siri.
Simply put, changes in project Titan can only mean that Apple decided not to go by the Tesla, and to move in the same scenario that has been chosen previously, Google. Let other companies build the machines, and Apple to create software for their work.
Perhaps Apple just killed my car, but that doesn’t mean the company intends to stay away from software development for the car of the future, concludes Beres.
Another question – whether they want car manufacturers to put the Apple inside their creations? It will not be easy, suggests columnist for CNET, Tim Stevens, stressing that most auto manufacturers are already working on their own autopilot software for cars.
“It would be like trying to sell ice to the Eskimos” – he sneers.