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HOMEEXHIBITIONProject is already behind schedule, according to report

Project is already behind schedule, according to report

2018-06-011294

Apple has scaled back its autonomous car ambitions considerably in recent years, according to reports. It once envisioned creating its own vehicle from the ground up, but those plans soon shifted to asking other automakers to help produce the car. Eventually, Apple settled on the idea of retrofitting vehicles from other automakers with its own sensors and software. Now, according to The New York Times, Apple wants to take Volkswagen T6 Transporter vans and make them into self-driving shuttles for its employees.

Apple has already signed a deal with Volkswagen, three sources familiar with the project told the Times. The tech giant had approached BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, McLaren, and other automakers, but wasn’t able to secure a deal with any of them, the report says. Some of the talks failed because automakers weren’t willing to give Apple control over their data or the customer experience of their vehicles, while other deals fell through because the tech giant was looking for a better partner.

Eventually, Apple found a match with Volkswagen, which according to former Apple employees, jumped at the opportunity after the dieselgate scandal. The Volkswagen vans destined to become Apple shuttles will retain their original frame, chassis, and wheels. However, Apple will install many of its own interior bits, including a new dashboard and seats. Of course, the cars will also come with Apple’s computers and sensors for autonomous driving, as well as a large electric car battery.

The shuttles will transport Apple employees between two of the company’s campuses in Silicon Valley. A driver will sit behind the wheel ready to take control of the vehicle if necessary, and an operator will sit in the passenger seat to record performance metrics.

It’s unclear exactly when we can expect Apple to introduce the shuttle. The tech company is already off target, however, according to one former employee. Originally, the shuttle was expected to be completed by the end of 2018.


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