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Like many other Apple projects, the Apple Car has been in development for almost a decade. Here's the story of when we first heard Apple was working on it.
Apple's car is considered self-driving and has a radical design that is significantly different from conventional cars. This could be the next step for Apple's growth as a company.
In early 2021, reports began to surface that Apple was in talks with potential manufacturers to actually make the Apple Car a reality. This sparked renewed interest in the often rumored product, an interest that has continued ever since.
Naturally, this has included plenty of analysts voicing their views that Apple is entering an entirely new industry, but some are pessimistic about the timing. While some early reports suggested Apple Car production would begin in 2024, analysts warn that the immaturity of self-driving technology could limit what Apple ultimately offers in its product or even delay its release.
As time has passed, analysts have changed their forecasts to later dates, in some cases beyond 2025. There have also been repeated statements about the hiring of employees, their dismissal, the change of key personnel and, allegedly, the complete mothballing of the project.
Apple has already been working on this concept for at least eight years, investing billions in the project. There were also countless patent applications filed, showing that Apple continued to work on changing the concept of the car throughout the period.
Just as it's likely that Apple could move slowly to enter the auto market, it's equally likely that it could do so relatively quickly given its extensive reporting history.
Here's a rundown of the rumors and reports surrounding the car and “Project Titan” in general, from the first rumors about its development to the latest rumors, last updated in September 2023.
The name of “Project Titan” was discovered in 2014
The earliest mention of the Apple Automotive Project was in the fall of 2014, when AppleInsider reported that Apple was in the process of recruiting engineers. He was said to have been hired for a project called Titan, but the rumors could not be verified and were not published at the time.
Several months later, details of the rumors were confirmed by other sources and publications, indicating that there was some truth to the allegations, as well as to the name “Project Titan”.
SixtyEight Research and Sunnyvale Offices Discovered in 2015
By March 2015, Apple was believed to be working on an electric car at offices in Sunnyvale, California. The building, rumored to be home to research firm SixtyEight, was internally known as SG5 and was located among other Apple offices. AppleInsider uncovered the story by visiting the site and examining the buildings and related documents.
The building was within walking distance of Apple's then-headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop, and sources said Apple was actively receiving supplies related to work there. In total, Apple's offices consisted of seven buildings totaling nearly 300,000 square feet, although many of them were used for other tasks.
One of the properties at number 175 did not appear to have a registered tenant, despite having been off the market for several months at the time, and planning permission for tenant improvements included a 4 239 square feet. Upon visiting in person, it turned out that this was the home of SixtyEight Research.
The secrecy of the project in the offices apparently extended to the fact that Apple employees were ordered to turn over their badges when entering the building. Guests visiting the location were given badges identical to those used at Apple headquarters, but without the Apple logo.
The use of frosted glass and visible CCTV cameras offers a level of privacy beyond that of a typical research firm. A piece of paper taped to the front door informed drivers that the company's lobby had been moved to a new location, a building leased by Apple.
SixtyEight LLC was incorporated in Delaware in March 2014 and later received a California foreign corporation license in November 2014. Given Apple's history of using shell corporations to hide secret projects, it is likely that this was also the case.
The company also paid to import a 1957 Fiat Multipla 600 from the UK to the US. Apple Design chief Jony Ive is said to have a soft spot for the Fiat 500, which could be another connection to Apple.
Hundreds of people at work in early 2015
In February 2015, it was reported that “several hundred” Apple employees were working on the project in its own development center away from the main Infinite Loop campus. The report claimed that the project was led by iPod and iPhone designer Steve Zadesky and was given free rein to bring in talent from any existing Apple teams.
The employees, which included auto executives, allegedly included former Mercedes-Benz R&D head Johann Jungwirth, who joined the company as head of Mac systems engineering in the fall of 2014.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk also said Apple was “trying very hard” to lure engineers away from the company, offering a 60% pay increase and $250,000 in bonuses.
RVs with camera spotted in 2015
In In February 2015, minivans were spotted in California that were believed to be part of an Apple project, as at least one of the vehicles was registered to the company.
The cars had an X-shaped frame attached to the luggage rack, as well as dark niches , which Apparently there were cameras, disc-shaped antennas and a sensor on the rear wheel. The rotating cylindrical devices at the front and back appeared to be LiDAR sensors.
While these vehicles were supposed to be used for a Google Street View-style update of Apple Maps, there is also the possibility that this was a precursor to Apple's later research into self-driving cars.
In 2015, recruitment continued at the same pace
By August 2015, it became known that Tesla senior engineer Jamie Carlson had defected to Apple, as evidenced by a change in his LinkedIn profile.
Carlson joined Apple along with at least six other employees with experience in developing self-driving cars.
A month later, other potential collaborators related to self-driving cars have been identified, including experts in automotive algorithms and imaging from a variety of institutions and backgrounds.
Meanwhile, Tesla's poaching of Apple has apparently started to cause problems and impact Tesla's product roadmap. It has been suggested that rumors of Model 3 delays were caused by the transition from Tesla to Apple.
Naval Base Negotiations in 2015
To help test “Project Titan”, it was reported in August 2015 that Apple was in negotiations to lease a 2,100-acre site near San Francisco. Francisco. Public records showed that Apple met with GoMentum Station, a former naval base, to use it to test autonomous vehicles.
Unusually, a GoMentum Station representative confirmed the negotiations and signed a non-disclosure agreement with Apple.
The site reportedly contained highway overpasses, railroad crossings, and other typical road objects, making the area particularly useful for testing autonomous vehicle systems.
Searching for partners, back in 2015
On the path to creating a full-fledged product, Apple had to overcome a number of obstacles, a source told AppleInsider in September 2015. Problems that may force a company to start working with a trusted partner.
The project's proposed timeline, in which the company would attempt to begin production within five years, could see Apple seek partnerships as a form of shortcut to market.
At the time, a report said Apple was targeting a 2019 delivery date for the car, but it failed to meet that schedule.
This included problems with planning a possible production site. A month earlier, Apple had purchased a 43-acre development site in San Jose, which at the time was considered a possible site for development or even a possible assembly.
There were also speculations that Apple was considering using the BMW i3 as the basis for the project; the two companies were also allegedly in talks at the time, although they were not close to an agreement.
Selfdriving visibility in California started in 2015
In September 2019, Apple lawyers met with the California DMV along with co-sponsors of the state's Self-Driving Vehicle Regulation Project to discuss DMV rules and guidelines for on-road testing of autonomous vehicles.
It has been suggested that the rules would force Apple to register the car publicly for viewing, effectively confirming that development is ongoing and removing some of the secrecy about the project.
Tesla Graveyard comments from Musk in 2015
In an October 2015 interview, Elon Musk did not seem concerned about poaching Apple employees, saying that Apple was hiring people fired by Tesla. “We always jokingly call Apple the Tesla Graveyard.” If you don't succeed at Tesla, you'll go to work at Apple. I'm not kidding,” Musk said.
Musk said cars are “very complex compared to phones or smartphones,” warning that it is a difficult project, but “it's good that Apple is investing in this direction.”
After the report was published, Musk took to Twitter to do damage control, saying: “Hey, I don't hate Apple. This is a great company with a lot of talented people. I like their products and I'm glad they're making an electric car.”
Continued hiring in 2015
Apple's efforts to recruit more engineers continued throughout the entire end of the year 2015, with some collateral damage.
Mission Motors, an electric motorcycle startup, filed for bankruptcy in September after top engineers defected to Apple. A small workforce of 35 meant that the dismissal of some key employees led to the collapse of the company.
Other notable hires include Nvidia's Jonathan Cohen, former director of the CUDA Libraries and Software Solutions machine learning program, which includes computer vision technologies that will form the basis of the self-driving vehicle system.
The hiring of Ronan Ó Braonaín also highlighted areas of further work for Apple, having previously worked at BMW as a software engineer, CTO of EV fleet solutions company Vision Fleet and digital license plate company Reviver.
Domain purchases since 2016
In January 2016, Apple was discovered acquired a number of new domain names. While Apple typically buys domain names and registers trademarks as a defensive move even if it doesn't use them, the batch it purchased points to potential automotive use.
The shopping list included apple.cars, apple.car and apple.auto.
R&D near BlackBerry leased in 2016 year
A January 2016 report claimed that Apple was leasing office space in Kanata, a suburb of Ottawa, Canada, where BlackBerry's QNX Software Systems division is located. It has been suggested that Apple wanted to use the property to develop automotive software.
Being close to BlackBerry's automotive software teams has also given Apple the opportunity to hire more employees with experience in autonomous vehicles.
Significant departure and hiring freeze in 2016
In January 2016, reports emerged that project manager Steve Zadesky told colleagues that he was leaving the company, citing “personal reasons” for the decision.
Around the same time, Project Titan itself appeared to be at a crossroads following a post-holiday review of progress when Ive “expressed his dissatisfaction” with the group's progress.
A hiring freeze was introduced, preventing more people from joining the group, which was thought to number more than 1,000 at the time.
Development of Sunnyvale in 2016
In February and March 2016, a number of events related to with real estate allegedly linked to the Apple Car development in Sunnyvale.
In February, a report was released detailing how a resident complained to city officials late at night about car noise coming from his home. While it is likely that the noise is related to major renovation work, it is also possible that the sounds were related to vehicle development.
Two projects highlighted by the Sunnyvale city manager's office at the time explained how Apple had received approval to build a facility nearby with 9,600 square feet of office space, and another Apple was moving into the former Maxim Integrated site.
The buildings will be used for an “automotive testing center” and for testing “new electronic technologies integrated into high-end cars.”
By March, Apple was looking for more space and leased a 96,000-square-foot warehouse in Sunnyvale that had previously been used as a Pepsi bottling plant.
In April, it was reported that Apple was using code names from Greek mythology to refer to objects in the area, including “Pegasus”, “Aria”, “Rhea” and “Corvinus”.
Secret German laboratory reported in 2016
An April 2016 report claimed that Apple employed 15 to 20 “high-level” employees from the German auto industry at a secret automotive laboratory in Berlin, Germany.
The laboratory did not consist of traditional engineers and structures, but was an “incubator” of ideas on vehicles, manufacturing partnerships and other related topics. Managers did not have to hold engineers back, and they were called “forward thinkers” and “young professionals” from a wide range of backgrounds.
More hiring and poaching in 2016
In April 2016, the big name who moved from Tesla to Apple was former vice president of automotive engineering Chris Porritt. He would work on “special projects” at Apple, potentially replacing the departing Zadesky.
A couple of employees indicated that Apple was interested in developing the parts, and two people were added to the company's “Product Fulfillment Lab.” They included former Tesla R&D hardware prototyping CNC programmer David Masiukiewicz and Andretti Autosport CNC machine shop manager Kevin Harvey.
By May, it was reported that Apple had hired Kurt Adelberger, as revealed by Google's application for an electric car patent.
In 2016, Apple was considering purchasing an 800,000 square foot facility in San Francisco
In May 2016, it was reported that Apple was seeking to acquire an 800,000 square foot site square feet in San Francisco. Bay Area.
The comments were made during Hudson Pacific Properties' earnings call, with CEO Victor Coleman saying he sees a “definitive move” from self-driving car firms to acquire real estate. Citing Toyota, Tesla and other major automakers, he went on to talk about Google's search “and the 800,000 square feet that Apple also wants to use for its autonomous cars.”
Didi Chuxing investments in 2016
Apple made In May 2016, Didi Chuxing invested $1 billion in Chinese rival Uber. The large investment was made for a number of reasons, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, “including the opportunity to learn more about certain segments of the Chinese market.”
Although Didi Chuxing was known for calling a taxi through an app by connecting to a large vehicle The Apple-powered service offers Apple a number of benefits, as well as being a potential source of research and a future Apple Car customer.
Power talks on recharging in 2016
That same In the month following Didi Chuxing's investment, Apple was in talks with firms that provided charging stations for cars and also hired on-site engineers, the report said.
Apple apparently approached companies for more information about the technologies they used, but the firms were apparently wary of over-disclosing information as they viewed Apple as a potential competitor.
It was argued that discussions were not focused on providing charging stations to employees, but rather on the benefit of the electric vehicle project.
Change of leadership in 2016
Hardware engineer and former executive Bob Mansfield was reported to have returned to prominence at the company in July 2016, taking control of the electric vehicle project.
Mansfield was set to resign in June 2012, but a month later instead remained as Cook's adviser. He became senior vice president of technology, leaving that position in July 2013, but continued to work on “special projects” for the company.
Around the same time, Apple hired another high-ranking employee, Dan Dodge. The founder and former CEO of QNX, he apparently left BlackBerry earlier that year to join Apple.
Waste shake and a major shift in 2016.
Mansfield's assumption of control of the project led to a number of changes in the following months. In August, Apple computer vision expert Bart Nabbe left to join electric vehicle rival Faraday Future.
The following month, Apple laid off dozens of employees as part of a “reboot” of the project and a refocusing of the project away from cars and toward the technology behind self-driving vehicles. By October, the exodus had become widespread, with hundreds of people reportedly leaving either of their own accord, being reassigned to other positions, or made redundant.
The remaining personnel were apparently given until the end of 2017 to prove the practicality of the project's self-driving technology.
Around this time, rumors about the car's design began to die down, and self-driving systems came to the fore. Designs occasionally appeared in patent applications, but development of an entirely Apple-designed car seemed to stall.
Public recognition of testing at the end of 2016
In the most public confirmation of its work on vehicles, Apple published a proposed NHTSA policy update in November 2016 to give industry newcomers the same opportunities as established manufacturers to conduct public road tests.
The statement said that while existing policy was safe and flexible in its approach to the development of automated vehicles, changes to the rules were proposed to make them more open to other firms.
Hired from Porsche in December 2016, loses to Tesla in January 2017
In a short time, Apple managed to attract one important new employee and lose another.
In December 2016, Alexander Hitzinger, technical director of the Porsche LMP1 project and former racing director, arrived. This included the development of the 919 hybrid sports car.
In January 2017, Tesla scored a major win by hiring Swift creator Chris Lattner from Apple. Lattner was to join Tesla to work on the Autopilot team.
Apple Senior Vice President Joined the US Department of Transportation's Automated Vehicles Committee in 2017
In January 2017, the US Department of Transportation established an Advisory Committee on Autonomous Vehicles. The group's goal is to “develop and implement automated vehicles and determine the Department's needs as relevant research, policy, and regulation continues.”
Apple Vice President Lisa Jackson was included on the list along with other government officials and auto industry figures, giving Apple some influence over policy decisions.
Didi's self-driving car lab opened next to Apple in 2017
In March 2017, Didi Chuxing opened an artificial intelligence lab in Mountain View, California. The laboratory will work on the development of intelligent driving and transport safety systems based on artificial intelligence.
The location of the lab was interesting because it was a stone's throw from Apple's Cupertino headquarters and Didi was a previous beneficiary of Apple's investment.
Recruitment for a Swiss laboratory in 2017
It was reported that Apple According to the report, in March 2017, it will be recruiting employees for a research center in Switzerland. It is reported that “at least” 10 ETH Zurich doctoral students and postdocs with backgrounds in computer vision and robotics have left the university for the lab.
The group may have included specialists working under the guidance of ETH professor of autonomous systems Roland Siegwart, who confirmed that five of his students went to corporations, but did not confirm that they went to Apple.
Selfdriving-testing starts in April 2017
In April 2017, Apple moved into self-driving car technology like never before as it received permission from the California DMV to test on public roads. The approval covered three Lexus RX450h SUVs and six safety pilots, although the number will increase in the future.
That same month, documents about Apple's self-driving car platform were leaked, showing training and actions that can be taken, the use of a Logitech steering wheel and pedals, and other elements.
By April 17, cars that were supposed to , be Apple-approved vehicles. The rooftop test bed included LiDAR sensors, radars, and multiple cameras.
Before the end of the month, Apple asked the DMV to change protocols and reporting requirements regarding “disengagement reports” in an attempt to minimize public exposure. Apple wanted to change the reporting to exclude scheduled tests and other operational restrictions that could cause the system to fail and transfer control to the test pilot.
Cook's car teaser at WWDC 2017
After WWDC 2017, Cook responded to a question about Apple's plans for cars as the company “focuses on autonomous systems,” which he believes is a “core technology” and “the mother of all artificial intelligence projects.”
“We'll see where this takes us. We're not really saying from a product perspective what we'll do,” he added, an effective disclaimer of responsibility for future product development.
Hertz testing in 2017
In an unlikely pair: June 2017 The report claims that Apple is working with car rental company Hertz to test its self-driving technology on the streets.
The partnership is believed to have included leasing a “small fleet of vehicles” from Hertz, using the same Lexus models as the company for its own testing.
Secret battery research in 2017
To drive your electric car, Apple He was reportedly working with a Chinese firm on improved battery technologies. The report hints that Apple's automotive design ambitions haven't completely faded yet and that the company is still testing out the possibility.
In July 2017, it was claimed that Apple had signed a contract with China's CATL for battery research, although the automotive cell was just speculation.
Plans for unmanned shuttles in 2017
A B A report in August 2017 claimed that Apple was working with the renowned automaker to create a driverless shuttle service called PAIL.
From Palo Alto to the endless loop, the shuttle transported employees and materials from one office to another. At that time, the timing of its launch was unknown, as was the chosen partner.
Test bed updates in 2017
A bench for testing sensors in the Apple fleet, judging by everything was upgraded in August 2017 with a new array of built-in LiDAR cameras, GPS and other elements. Apple continued to use the same Lexus model for testing, but the version discovered was a newer one.
Instead of using a large frame and mounting components throughout the vehicle, the new test stand was more compact and mounted on mounts on the roof of the vehicle.
By October, a video of the car appeared, showing a close-up view of the test bench.
More hirings and losses in 2017
In August 2017, Apple began hiring again, but with the goal of using this technology in the taxi market. The team was reportedly still “suffering from some confusion about goals” following the layoffs last year, but the new hiring process was more focused on the self-driving platform than vehicle design.
While Apple was trying to recruit more employees, a group of 17 engineers jumped ship that same month. The group, which specializes in brakes, suspension and other automotive systems, has joined forces with Zoox, another self-driving company.
Interest in Arizona test sites in 2017
A November 2017 report claimed that Apple was leasing a former Fiat Chrysler test facility in Surprise, Arizona to test its self-driving car platform. Apple has reportedly hired test engineers and technicians from other similar facilities in the state, and plans to continue testing its self-driving systems.
The territory was leased to Route 14 Investment Partners LLC, which has been registered in Delaware since 2015 under the management of the Corporation Trust Company. This could be a sign that this is another shell company created by Apple.
The location is said to be capable of a variety of testing, including simulated wet weather, pedestrian crossings and intersections for real driving, and a speed oval.
Autonomous research published at the end of 2017
At the end of 2017, Apple researchers revealed details about their efforts to create autonomous transportation systems.
A November research paper explains how LiDAR-based 3D object recognition can be implemented, which could improve driving systems that read the road itself. This involves generating 3D point clouds and using a learnable deep architecture to describe 3D shapes.
In December, Apple AI Research Director Ruslan Salakhutdinov spoke at a conference on NIPS machine learning about other unpublished areas, including how its camera-based recognition system can detect objects even if they are obscured by rain and parked cars.
In 2018, the number of fleets will increase to 66
In early 2018, Apple reported in a DMV report that it had 27 self-driving cars on public roads, up significantly from the previous time it had three. Just two months later, the total number of cars in the fleet had risen to 45, making it the second largest behind Cruise's 110 vehicles.
Two months later it had risen again to 55 vehicles and 83 registered drivers, and by July there were 66 vehicles and 111 registered drivers. At that point, the DMV had only issued 56 test permits and approved 468 vehicles, meaning Apple had a significant portion of the population using self-driving cars.
Giannandrea joins in 2018
Apple poached John in April 2018 Giannandrea from Google to work on machine learning and artificial intelligence strategy. He previously led Google's efforts to bring artificial intelligence to its full range of products and was previously part of Metaweb.
Although Giannandrea was the head of artificial intelligence and head of search at Google, it is likely that his role at Apple was primarily centered around Siri, but likely also involved Project Titan.
Volkswagen Pail talks in 2018
Reports on PAIL shuttles indicated that Apple is working with Volkswagen on the project after talks with BMW and other auto companies broke down.
It is reported that as part of the project, the shuttle will use several Volkswagen T6 Transporter vans, equipped with specialized dashboards and seats, as well as an electric battery.
Waymo engineer joins Apple in 2018
In June 2018, Jamie Waydo, a senior engineer at Waymo Alphabet, joined Apple. She was allegedly responsible for testing the safety of the prototypes and instructing the company on when it was safe to begin actual road testing in Phoenix.
Weido previously worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Ex-Apple In 2018, the employee was charged with trade secrets.
Former Apple hardware engineer Xiaolang Zhang was arrested at San Jose International Airport in July 2018 while attempting to fly to Beijing, China. Zhang was accused of stealing trade secrets from Apple itself.
Zhang was charged federally with theft of trade secrets, with a recommended sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, a $100 special assessment and three years of supervised release.
Zhang previously worked on the Project Titan computing team, which developed circuit boards for analyzing sensor data. He left Apple on paternity leave to visit China, but upon his return he announced he was leaving and planned to take care of his sick mother. During the meeting, he also told the executive that he was joining the Chinese startup Xmotors.
When returning Apple-issued devices, Apple found unusual download activity, suggesting he may have downloaded some data he shouldn't have. Surveillance cameras and badge swiping led Zhang to the company's lab while on maternity leave, prompting a confrontation in which Zhang admitted to being there and taking items including two circuit boards and a Linux server.
Zhang pleaded not guilty to theft of trade secrets.
From Apple to Tesla returns to Apple in 2018
In August 2018, a personnel war between Apple and Tesla led to the unusual but inevitable transfer of one employee back from the other. Doug Field, Apple's former vice president of Mac hardware engineering, has returned to the company after nearly five years at Tesla.
It was reported that Field would work as part of the Titan project.
That same month, a report claimed that Apple had hired at least 46 people from Tesla in the year prior. Some were lured away, while others joined after leaving Tesla.
While the obvious choice would have been to bring new employees to work on Project Titan, this was not always the case as Apple put more work into general production processes that applied to the entire company.
The first accident involving an Apple self-driving car occurred in 2018
In August 2018, Apple's self-driving car program had its first car accident on the road. The test vehicle was rear-ended by a Nissan Leaf as it entered the expressway, with both vehicles suffering “moderate damage.”
There was no serious risk to life in the collision because the Leaf was traveling at only 15 mph. It also appears that the Leaf's driver is to blame, rather than a failure of the self-driving system.
Hitzinger leaves for 2018, Kim enters 2019
In December 2018, Apple hired Andrew Kim, a senior designer from Tesla. Kim was primarily a car interior designer who worked on both the dashboard layout and the aesthetics of the cars.
This move could be Apple's attempt to gradually return to the idea of making its own car, or at least designing one.
In January 2019, Volkswagen lured Alexander Hitzinger from Apple to work in its commercial vehicles division. His role will be to develop VW's self-driving cars as “mobility as a service”.
Mass layoffs in 2019
In January 2019, Apple also made another attempt to restructure its Titan project. group, graduating more than 200 employees. Not all employees have been laid off, as some will be transferred to other positions within Apple.
Apple gave a rare confirmation of the shakeup, taking the opportunity to say: “We continue to believe that autonomous systems offer tremendous opportunity, that Apple is uniquely positioned to make a difference, and that this is our most ambitious program yet.” machine learning project ever.”
Apple later confirmed the dismissal of 190 people in February.
Second arrest for trade secret theft occurred in 2019
In January 2019, the FBI arrested a second person accused of stealing trade secrets. Engineer Jizhong Chen was spotted taking photographs at a secret work site, prompting further investigation.
Apple's global security department searched his computer and found manuals, diagrams, diagrams and hundreds of photographs taken at Apple offices.
The motive was clear as Chen applied for a job with a Chinese self-driving technology company. The arrest came a day before he was due to fly back to China.
Highly sensitive disengagement in the 2019 report
B In February 2019, California Department of Motor Vehicles data showed that Apple's self-driving car test bed performed the worst among authorized testers in terms of disconnection. This applies to cases where the autonomous mode is forced to terminate and return control to the human pilot.
Between December 2017 and November 2018, Apple's fleet recorded an average of 871.65 outages per 1,000 miles driven, ranking it last compared to 27 other testing firms. In contrast, Google's Waymo managed to achieve 0.09 dropouts per 1,000 miles.
Apple responded by saying the system was too cautious and “conservative” because it was not designed to work “in all conditions and situations” at the time. Apple's Senior Director of Autonomous Engineering Jamie Waydo explained: “To support this approach, our road testing policy requires drivers to actively assume manual control of the vehicle whenever the system encounters a scenario outside of our currently proven capabilities.” ”
According to Apple, just over half of the outages were “manual takeovers” initiated manually by the pilot, compared to “soft outages” determined by the system itself. Moreover, there were only 28 “major disconnections” considered to have the potential to result in a violation of law or a safety hazard, of which two vehicles involving other vehicles crashed into Apple vehicles.
An electric van in 2019?
A report from Germany in February 2019 stated that Apple's electric vehicle may not be a car, but a van. Sources claim that prototypes have been spotted painted in black and silver and they were all vans.
The same report also states that engineers were working on the car's interior.
It remains unknown whether the vehicles tested were actually Project Titan targets, vans destined for PAIL, or some other purpose.
Cook tells 2019 shareholders that Apple is 'rolling the dice' on future products
Speaking at its annual shareholder meeting in March 2019, CEO Tim Cook said the company “plants seeds” and “roll the dice” on future foods that will “amaze you.”
Cook has “never been more optimistic” about the direction Apple is heading, he said, although he declined to specify which direction the company is heading.
Tesla Powertrain rental in 2019
Hiring in March 2019 from Apple's Tesla was Michael Svekuch, vice president of engineering. After leaving Tesla earlier this month, he became part of Apple's special projects group, which includes “Project Titan.”
The executive had extensive experience in powertrain development, including at related engineering firms such as BorgWarner and GKN Driveline, and was involved with electric and hybrid powertrains used in the BMW i8, Fiat 500eV, Volvo XC90 and Porsche 918 Spider.
Negotiating sensor suppliers by April 2019
By April 2019, Apple was reportedly in talks with a number of component suppliers about LiDAR sensors for Project Titan. This was apparently done to create a new generation test bed that would be installed on cars for evaluation purposes.
It has been reported that Apple wants to use sensors as small as possible to potentially hide them inside the car body and out of sight. Using non-mechanical versions of LiDAR hardware could also reduce the cost of the sensor array, which was estimated at about $100,000 per vehicle at the time.
Apple cuts test vehicles in the fleet for 2019
Apple reported a decrease in the number of test driverless vehicles in its fleet on public roads in California in April 2019. At that time, Apple reported 69 vehicles, down from the peak of 72 vehicles from November 2018.
Large drive rooms in May 2019
Apple was reportedly building “several very large machine rooms in California,” financial analyst Craig Irwin of Roth Capital Partners said in May 2019. Irwin determined that the machine rooms were not related to automobiles, but were intended to work on improving battery technology.
There was no mention of where these rooms were located other than staff, or their purpose other than testing battery technology. Despite this, the name “disk room” certainly suggests the device's use in automotive design.
Drive.ai acquired in June 2019
In June 2019, Apple confirmed that it had acquired driverless shuttle and car kit startup Drive.ai, through which Apple hired dozens of employees who worked in the design and engineering of products, as well as cars and other assets.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but in 2017 the company was valued at approximately $200 million.
Apple hires former VP of Engineering at Tesla in July 2019
In July 2019, Apple hired Steve McManus, a longtime auto industry veteran who previously worked at Tesla. Specializing in automotive interiors, he has worked in this field for Bentley, Aston Martin, Jaguar/Land Rover and the Rover Group, as well as Tesla for over four years as Vice President of Engineering.
McManus joined Apple in an unspecified “senior director” role at Apple Park.
Apple worried about flight suspected of trade theft in 2019
In December 2019, Apple asked a federal court to keep two former employees accused of stealing trade secrets under constant surveillance because they pose a flight risk.
Staff wanted defendants Xiaolan Zhang and Jizhong Chen to be monitored at all times because extradition would be virtually impossible if either of them fled back to their home country of China.
The vehicle fleet will be further reduced in 2020
In February 2020, Apple's fleet of self-driving cars in California declined again, with only 23 of Apple's 69 registered test beds operating between December 2018 and November 2019. Combined, they drove just 7,544 miles, compared to more than 79,000 miles in 2018.
The number of disconnections increased to 64 over 7,544 miles, equating to 8.48 per 1,000 miles, up from 871.65 disconnects per 1,000 miles recorded a year earlier.
However, Apple is still far behind the rest. Baidu led the way with a 0.06 escape rate per 1,000 miles, while Waymo and Cruise had 0.08 each.
Data report Apple Maps LiDAR September 2020
The September 2020 report explains how cars mapping streets for Apple Maps used special iPads and Mac Pros and a suite of sensors. While the report primarily covered the teams' day-to-day activities, the way they work, and the specific technologies used, it also talked more about Apple's data usage.
By collecting mapping data from the streets, including high-resolution imagery and LiDAR scans, the system can collect terabytes of data that can be used for machine learning purposes to assist self-driving systems. This is extremely useful for training machine learning systems to process image data in parts of the world that are far from where Apple is currently conducting road testing.
John Giannandrea has been developing the Apple Car overseas since December 2020
Apple reportedly changed the leadership of the Titan project in December 2020, with AI chief John Giannandrea overseeing progress. Still helmed by Doug Field, the overall project will be led by Giannandrea.
Mansfield, who previously headed Apple Car, is now said to be fully retired.
Apple-TSMC Partnership Rumors Late 2020
Apple was rumored to be working with longtime chip partner TSMC in late 2020 to create processors and chips intended for use in the Apple Car. The companies have reportedly developed plans to set up a US chip manufacturing plant and are believed to be in talks with suppliers in the automotive electronics supply chain.
The report says the Apple Car is “similar to a Tesla” but doesn't specify what that means.
Foxconn to invest in Chinese electric vehicle startup Byton in January 2021
In January 2021, Apple assembly partner Foxconn was reported to have struck a deal to invest in the Byton electric vehicle firm in China. The deal, which includes a $200 million investment, reportedly aims for mass production of the M-Byte electric SUV in early 2022.
Although Foxconn's history with Apple as an assembler is not directly related to the Apple Car, it may have spurred investment as it considers a potential deal with Apple to assemble the Apple Car.
Production negotiations Hyundai in January and February 2021
Since January 2021, Apple has been reported to be in talks with South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai to create an electric vehicle, most likely the rumored Apple Car.
Reports indicated that Apple was looking to move production to the United States in some form, perhaps through a plant in Georgia owned by Hyundai subsidiary Kia Motors or involving the construction of a new plant.
Unusually, Hyundai confirmed that it was in the early stages of negotiations with Apple, but at that time nothing had been decided yet.
By mid-January, Hyundai was still agonizing over whether to work on the project with Apple or hand it over to Kia. Apparently, executives had trouble producing cars for Apple under Hyundai because the company was afraid of damaging the brand's image.
On the financial side of the deal, one report claimed that Apple would invest around $3.6 billion in Kia for the project, with a goal of producing 100,000 vehicles per year, with the production run starting in 2024.
Apple Poached Porsche VP of Chassis Engineering in February 2021
Apple made another high-profile hire in February 2021, taking on Dr. Manfred Harrer. Head of the Porsche Cayenne division and head of chassis development.
Harrer previously worked as an engineer at Audi, then at BMW, working on steering, and then at Porsche. By 2016, he became head of general chassis development, and a few months before his departure he became manager of the Cayenne series.
It was argued that Harrer was motivated by the challenge and the opportunity to move, rather than money. His salary at Porsche was more than 600,000 euros ($720,000) a year, and at Apple he was expected to earn about a million dollars.
Kia is close to finalizing and will begin using self-driving cars in February 2021
By February 3, it was reported that Apple was close to finalizing a 4 trillion won car deal with Kia. investment and access to a plant in Georgia.
The report's source said the partnership's first vehicles “will not be designed for the driver” and will be “autonomous electric vehicles” that will be “focused on the last mile.”
The commentary suggests that the vehicles would not necessarily be sold as a traditional consumer product, but could instead be marketed to taxis and other industries.
Negotiations on Hyundai suspended in February 2021
Talks between Apple and Hyundai appear to have been put on hold, as reported on February 5th. This appears to be partly due to Apple's upset over Hyundai's public confirmation of negotiations.
In response to Apple's anger, Hyundai and Kia are reported to have retracted the statement.
It was unclear at the time whether talks would continue in the short term due to internal wrangling within Hyundai over whether to hand over the project to Kia or take it on directly.
Apple is exploring other options in February 2021 g.
At the same time it was reported that Apple was ending talks with Hyundai, another report said Apple was in talks with other manufacturers, including at least six Japanese automakers, for manufacturing and supply partnerships.
However, Apple's reputation as a demanding executive with high standards reportedly prevented many from taking advantage of this opportunity. There was also a fear that he would be relegated to the role of a subcontractor.
While collaboration with the Apple brand can also bring benefits to suppliers, there is also a need for manufacturing changes that could upset some, as well as potentially diverting important resources to these efforts, impacting other existing product lines. .
Analysts predict in advance Partnership 2021 in February 2021
Investment bank Wedbush predicts that Apple will announce some form of electric vehicle partnership for the “Apple Car” in the first half of 2021. The likelihood of such a partnership being announced in the next three to six months was reported to be 85% or higher. .
Hyundai's mistakes weren't entirely wrong for the bank, which ranked the automaker alongside VW as its top two options for Apple.
UK politicians demand Apple Car in February 2021
A number of UK Parliament ministers have expressed a desire for the UK government to intervene and try to persuade Apple to produce the Apple Car in the country. This will obviously be done to increase domestic car production and capitalize on the skilled workforce in the Midlands.
Ministers described the idea as a “simple task” to test out a production deal.
Hyundai has learned its lessons due to the breakdown of negotiations in February 2021
Analysts claim that Hyundai's desire to confirm negotiations was the reason for Apple's suspension of negotiations. Apple's anger over the lack of confidentiality in the negotiations and subsequent stoppage demonstrated that Apple takes its secrecy extremely seriously.
Hyundai management “may have learned some lessons from this problem,” reports HI Investment & This was stated by the head of the securities research department. “It’s important to keep internal discussions internal.”
Renault touted as another potential partner in February 2021
In a more detailed analysis of Apple's search for a manufacturing pair, J.P. Morgan suggested that Renault might be a better fit for Apple than Hyundai. One reason was Renault's existing “excellent track record” in contract manufacturing, something Hyundai was apparently unwilling to do.
Renault's alliance with Nissan could also be beneficial from a global production perspective, while the manufacturer's excess capacity could be an attractive proposition for Apple to get started with more room to expand if needed.
Test driverless cars traveled more in 2020, a February 2021 report found.
According to a report filed with the California DMV, Apple's test fleet drove 18,805 vehicles. miles on California roads in 2020. That's a significant jump from 2019, when the company reported 7,544 miles driven, although well down from 2018's nearly 80,000 miles.
Disengagement has also improved, with human pilots taking control once every 145 miles, up from every 118 miles in 2019. In 2018, this happened at about every mile.
Nissan signals it may begin collaborating with Apple in February 2021
Sensing an opportunity, Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida appeared to confirm a willingness to work with Apple on the Apple Car during the automaker's conference call. Without directly saying that talks were underway, Uchida said the auto industry needed to “take new initiatives” and “work with companies that have knowledge and good experience through partnerships and cooperation.”
At the time, the analyst also suggested that Nissan was “the most likely candidate for serious negotiations with Apple, in part due to the availability of spare capacity in the United States.”
VW “not afraid” of Apple in February 2021
In an interview, VW CEO Herbert Diess said he does not believe Apple could pose a threat to established car manufacturers.
“The auto industry is not a typical technology sector that can be captured in one fell swoop,” Dies said. “Apple won't get through this overnight.”
Although Apple has poured significant research and resources into the project, and potentially brought advances in battery and power management to the project, Dice is unrepentant. “Still, we are not afraid,” he said.
Nissan refuses negotiations for “Apple Car” in February 2021
After Hyundai's refusal after confirmation, Nissan did the same. On February 15, Nissan publicly announced that it was not actively discussing the project with Apple.
“We are not negotiating with Apple,” a Nissan spokesman said. “However, Nissan is always open to collaboration and partnership to accelerate industry transformation.”
Nissan refused to comment on whether negotiations were held at all. Reports said talks broke down because Nissan was reduced to an assembly partner working on Apple designs – a similar complaint against Hyundai.
Hyundai executives face investigation over Apple Car talks in February 2021
On February 17, reports emerged that South Korea's Financial Services Commission was investigating Hyundai management over stock transactions before the company announced it had ended negotiations with Apple.
A dozen Hyundai executives are said to have traded about 3,400 shares worth $735,000 before the disclosure. The South Korean stock exchange wants to investigate whether executives used undisclosed information to profit unfairly from the case.
When Hyundai announced that it was in talks with Apple, its stock price rose 21%.
“The checks are designed to find out whether there is any suspicion (of wrongdoing) or not,” said an FSC representative. The duration of such checks varies in each case and the exchange will report the results to FSC.
Apple Car loses original project manager Benjamin Lyon in February 2021
Sensor expert and senior group manager Benjamin Lyon left Apple and the Apple Car project for a startup. Lyon was reported to have joined satellite and space company Astra. although it is unknown why he left Apple for the company.
One of 11 managers reporting to project vice president Doug Field, Lyon was also one of the original members of the “Project Titan” team, present throughout its existence , up to leaving the company.
Apple expands LiDAR capabilities; negotiations with suppliers will take place in February 2021
On February 19, it was reported that Apple was in talks with several LiDAR suppliers in an effort to secure key autonomous vehicle technology. Negotiations with “a number of potential suppliers” could result in Apple selecting one or more suppliers for the component.
The report's sources claim that Apple was aiming for LiDAR technology that would be cutting-edge in four to five years.
Analyst says Apple Car could generate $50 billion in revenue by 2030 in February 2021
In a note for investors, reviewed by AppleInsider on February 24, 2021, Piper Sandler lead analyst Harsh Kumar opined that the Apple Car could become a reliable source of hardware revenue for Apple.
Overall, we think Apple's entry into the auto market makes sense. As with other hardware offerings, the company can enter the market during peak technological disruptions while avoiding the risk of market shaping. “, Kumar wrote.
Citing reports at the time, Kumar noted that Apple may be planning to produce 100,000 cars in 2024. store. If market penetration reaches 1% by 2030, this the figure could rise to $50 billion.
The biggest hurdle is Apple's search for a manufacturing partner, as Kumar noted that automakers don't want to be the “Foxconn of the auto industry.”
Apple partner Foxconn will work with Fisker on electric vehicles by 2023 in February 2021.
In February 2021, a deal codenamed “Project PEAR,” short for Personal Electric Automotive Revolution, emerged in which Foxconn would work with the electric vehicle maker. Beginning in 2023, Fisker will produce more than 250,000 vehicles per year.
The plan was to cover the markets of North America, Europe, China and India.
Foxconn has also teamed up with Chinese electric vehicle startup Byton, and assembly partner Apple plans to supply components for 10% of the world's electric vehicles by 2025-2027.
Partnership between Apple and Kia is not yet finished in February 2021
Despite the confusion over the secrecy of the relationship, as well as confirmation that Hyundai and Kia are no longer in talks with Apple over the Apple Car, in a report dated February 26, 2021 it is stated that negotiations were not completely abandoned.
“Even if talks on electric vehicles fail, there are many issues that can be discussed in other areas, so we remain optimistic about the possibility of a partnership between the two sides,” a report source said.
BMW CFO says he will sleep “very peacefully” over Apple Car threat in March 2021
Asked about the potential threat, BMW Chief Financial Officer Nicholas Peter said he was sleeping “very peacefully” with the Apple Car rumors.
Peter seemed undeterred by rumors that Apple might introduce an electric self-driving car in the 2020s. He added that BMW is well positioned to take advantage of the shift to electric vehicles and the shift away from private vehicle ownership.
“I sleep very well,” Peter said when asked about Apple. “Competition is a wonderful thing: it helps motivate others. We are in a very strong position and want to remain at the forefront of the industry.”
Foxconn could assemble the Apple Car, a report said in March 2021.
After reportedly unsuccessful negotiations with existing car manufacturers, Apple may consider using existing suppliers such as Foxconn. to produce the “Apple car.”
Manufacturers are reported to be reluctant to become contract assemblers rather than car designers. Report sources believe Apple will turn to Foxconn as well as Magna, the automaker that apparently , previously worked on the Apple Car.
Toyota President Advises Apple to Prepare for the Long Term in March 2021
Toyota President Akio Toyoda said in March that if the “Apple Car” becomes a reality, the Cupertino company should prepare for at least 40 years of service and support . While welcoming Apple into the auto business, he warned that the company should prepare itself.
Anyone can make a car if they have the technical ability,” Mr. Toyoda said. “But once they make the car, I hope they realize they need to toughen themselves up over 40 years of response.” to clients and to various changes.”
“The entry of technology companies into the auto industry means there is a future for the auto industry and more choices for customers,” Toyoda continued. “We welcome new members, but I don't think it's fair for the people who just came to say, 'We don't need to toughen ourselves up for 40 years, and you other people who've been here for years, do it.”
Lucid Motors CEO welcomes Apple in March 2021
Echoing comments from Toyota's president the same month, Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson downplayed concerns about Apple's entry into the electric vehicle market.
“I welcome competition from a company like Apple,” he said. “Ultimately, you know, it's a technology race. Tesla recognizes that, and Lucid recognizes that, and I think that's what differentiates a lot of traditional car companies.”
Apple Car integration with iPhone poses risk for competitors in March 2021
The potential integration of the “Apple Car” with the rest of Apple's product ecosystem could be its biggest feature, according to analyst Arndt Ellinghorst of Bernstein in March.
“That's why I think this is one of the biggest concerns for traditional automakers,” Ellinghorst said, referring to the premium market. “They would be much more scared of Apple than Rivian, Lucid, Fisker or even Nio.”
As for when to expect the car, Bernstein estimates the launch won't happen until 2024 or 2025, and potentially not at all until 2028. However, despite the fact that they have been working on it for seven years. by that time, the firm was still not “convinced” that Apple would actually continue the project as is, citing Apple's high bar for introducing new products.
LG & Magna partnership is very close to securing a 2024 deal with Apple Car in April 2021
Days after exiting the smartphone market to focus on “growth areas such as electric vehicle components” in April, LG was rumored to be doing more than just supplying parts for electric vehicles. LG Electronics and Canada's Magna International were reportedly on the verge of becoming Apple's electric vehicle makers together.
At the time, a report citing unnamed sources said the companies were discussing final details. However, since Apple only planned to produce test cars for evaluation, the deal amount was quite small.
Patents: Augmented Reality Head-Up HUD, Airbags, and Lost iPhone Finder
Patents issued in May and June 2021 related to the Apple Car suggest several interesting features the car could include.
The first offered a head-up display projected onto the windshield, providing an AR view for lane control, hazard avoidance, and other hidden environmental details.
Another suggested the possibility of using signal generators and sensors scattered throughout a vehicle to help track a lost device, such as an iPhone that has slid under a seat.
The third offered passengers a way to protect themselves from injuries associated with objects flying through the windshield. Apple suggests using an airbag wall that can absorb the impact of flying debris, dissipating the energy before it makes contact with the occupant.
Apple expands fleet of self-driving cars and reduces number of test drivers in May 2021
Data from the California Department of Motor Vehicles in May 2021 showed that Apple had 68 self-driving test cars vehicles on the road, marking the first increase in the fleet since August 2019.
At the same time, the number of test drivers using the fleet has dropped to just 76. Since there were 154 licensed drivers in October 2020, the total number of drivers for May 2021 indicates that during this time the pool drivers have been halved.
Apple loses third manager from Apple Car in six months in June 2021
Leaving May 2021, but reported the following month, Robotics Team Leader Dave Scott has left the project, making it the third major Apple Car project of 2021 at the time.
Scott left in May to become president and CEO of healthcare company Hyperfine.
Apple is in talks to supply Chinese batteries in June 2021
Apple was reportedly in talks with two separate Chinese technology firms in June 2021 to supply batteries for the Apple Car, with talks apparently , were conducted between Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) and BYD. As a condition of the deal, production had to take place in the United States.
CATL was apparently concerned both about the cost of facilities in the States and about tensions between the two countries. A report released later in July appeared to confirm the need for US production.
Sources said Apple wanted to use lithium-ion phosphate batteries instead of the more expensive nickel and cobalt batteries that are more commonly used.
Apple Car hired BMW electric vehicle executive Ulrich Kranz in June 2021
Ulrich Kranz, former senior vice president of the BMW group, who created the i3 and i8 was reportedly hired by Apple in June 2021. Kranz spent 30 years at BMW before co-founding self-driving car company Canoo, from which he stepped down as CEO a month before joining Apple.
The Apple Watch executive was reportedly transferred to the Car team in July 2021.
The report claims that Apple Watch and healthcare executive Kevin Lynch were transferred to the Apple Car team. Lynch, who left the health care team, was apparently replaced by Evan Doll, who would report to Lynch during his absence.
Apple is expanding its fleet of self-driving cars in August 2021
After expanding to 68 test vehicles in May, Apple has added another vehicle to its fleet, adding to its previous the same number that was in operation in August 2019. Apple also increased the number of test pilots from 76 to 92.
At the time, Apple had the third-largest fleet of autonomous test vehicles in California, behind Waymo and GM Cruise.
Apple reported three crashes during that period, compared with 153 crashes for GM Cruise and 111 crashes for Waymo.
Foxconn buys new EV processor plant in August 2021
Foxconn made another major acquisition in August 2021, buying a new processor plant for $90 million . The facility sold to Macronix International is located in Hsinchu, Taiwan, the same city where TSMC was to build its new plant.
Although it was originally a memory plant, reports claimed that its facilities and equipment would be used to develop silicon carbide semiconductors for use in electric vehicles and 5G base stations.
Apple to Discuss Components with Korean EV Suppliers in August 2021
Continuing discussions with suppliers in August 2021, Apple is reported to be in talks with Korean EV companies as part of a strategy to outsource EV manufacturing to its own manufacturers.
According to the report, Apple has held “preliminary meetings” with SK Innovation, a subsidiary of SK Group that specializes in electric vehicle batteries. The Cupertino company also met with LG Electronics and auto parts maker Magna International, which formed a joint venture called LG Magna e-Powertrain.
Foxconn plans to launch electric vehicle factories in the US and Thailand in August 2021
To offset the slowdown in the smartphone industry, Foxconn told investors in August 2021 that it was looking to mass produce electric vehicles in the US. and Thailand in 2023.
“In addition to the US and Thailand, we are also in discussions with possible regions in Europe as part of our global electric vehicle strategy,” Chairman Yang Liu told investors on a financial conference call.
Apple Car could use exterior screens to signal other drivers, says August 2021 patent
August An Apple patent proposes a way for self-driving vehicles to communicate with other drivers due to the possible lack of small cues by which the driver's silhouette could communicate with others.
In Apple's solution, called the Exterior Lighting and Warning System, Apple's system involves creating displays that are placed on and around the car, potentially in in the form of a comprehensive strip of lights. This long display can show a variety of information to other road users, not just that they have braked or that they want to go left or right.
This may include more detailed braking information, the vehicle's relative speed relative to the vehicle behind it, action countdown timers, and other messages. They can be text, but can also consist of graphics and video.
For drivers parking a vehicle, the displays can display a farewell message or greet the user upon arrival at the vehicle itself.
In August 2021, Apple's fleet of self-driving cars was involved in minor accidents
Two cars from Apple's fleet of self-driving cars were involved in minor accidents while driving on California roads in August, although this was not their fault tested autonomous systems.
The incident was reported to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Both collisions were considered minor and no injuries were reported.
In both cases, Apple's self-driving car operated in manual mode — this means that the autonomous system has not been activated. It is also worth noting that none of the collisions were the fault of the driver of the Apple car.
Apple is hiring former Mercedes engineers in September 2021
Two former Mercedes engineers have been formally hired by Apple to work on its special projects team.
Dr. Anton Uselmann previously worked on automotive projects in the areas of mass production, dynamics, steering and project management. Before working at Mercedes, Dr. Uselmann received his PhD while working at Porsche. Toward the end of his five years at the auto company, he was working as a function developer in the steering systems group.
The second employee has not been named, but is reported to have previously worked for Mercedes.
Apple-linked firm buys Arizona auto testing site in September 2021
Arizona auto testing site reportedly used by Apple has reportedly been purchased by a mysterious firm in September 2021, which has leased the site for many years.
The 5,458-acre site is located near Phoenix, Arizona, and was previously used by Chrysler as a vehicle testing facility. Delaware-based Route 14 Investment Partners LLC purchased the site for $125 million in cash.
Route 14 was registered in 2015 in the state of Delaware under the management of the Corporation Trust Company. Apple had a mailbox at the CTC office.
Ford poached Doug Field from Apple in September 2021
In September 2021, Ford confirmed that it was hiring Apple executive Doug Field, who was believed to have worked on the “Apple Car”, as a specialist advanced technologies of the automaker.
The automaker is appointing Field as a specialist in advanced technologies and embedded systems, Ford said in a statement Tuesday. Field previously worked at Apple and Tesla.
Later that month, it was reported that Kevin Lynch had taken over the project.
Apple plans to go into production independently in September 2021
In September 2021, sources said in a report that Apple had resumed internal development of the Apple Car after it failed to secure partnerships with third parties for production of spare parts and assembly.
Sources claim that Apple has begun contacting global auto parts manufacturers to obtain prices for spare parts. Obviously, this was a sign that Apple would soon select a final component supplier.
Apple grows independently – pilot pool again in September 2021
After halving the number of licensed drivers it used earlier this year, Apple continued to ramp up its workforce in the field in September. The report claims that the number of testing facilities remained unchanged, but the California DMV said Apple was allowed to field 114 registered drivers.
Patent explains how Apple Car will be able to block bright lights in September 2021
Common driving hazards include glare from very bright lights and reflections from building windows . , headlights of other vehicles at night and other light sources may interfere with the driver's vision.
The September 2021 patent for an active glare reduction system uses eye-tracking sensors and others to determine where bright light is coming from and where it needs to be blocked. The circuit then modulates portions of the windows and mirrors to darken or block the light source from the driver's field of vision while keeping the rest of the view clear.
Foxconn signs deal to buy first US electric vehicle plant in October 2021
Apple supplier signs deal to buy Lordstown manufacturing plant in Ohio for $230 million dollars, as well as the acquisition of a 4% stake in Lordstown for approximately $50 million. Under the terms of the deal, Foxconn will produce the Lordstown Endurance pickup truck.
The agreement includes the 6.2 million square foot facility Lordstown purchased from GM, ground equipment and a number of Lordstown employees.
Apple was looking for a Radar Test Engineer in October 2021
A post on Jobs at Apple on October 1, 2021 advertised a search for a “Radar Test Engineer – SPG” who would design experiments to “characterize performance radars.” ” and analyze the data.
The Special Projects team position appears to be a perfect fit for the Apple Car project.
Apple Hires Former Tesla Engineer in November 2021
In November 2021, Apple hired Christopher “CJ” Moore to work on its self-driving software. A former Tesla engineer, he has been outspoken about the automaker's Autopilot feature, implying that CEO Elon Musk has exaggerated its capabilities.
Apple will add 23 more drivers to its self-driving car fleet in November 2021
Continuing its expansion of self-driving car testing in November 2021, according to Department of Motor Vehicles data California showed that Apple increased the number of driver's licenses by 23, bringing the total number of drivers to 137.
However, the company continued to maintain the number of its test beds at 69 cars.
Apple plans to release 2025 in November 2021
In November, a report claimed that Apple was speeding up development of the “Apple Car” and that a new potential launch date was 2025.
Although Apple considered two options: a car with limited autonomous capabilities or a car that can function without human intervention, the company apparently chose the second path.
Aviation losses in the electric power industry in December 2021
Several Apple employees at SPG Apple left the company in December.
Senior CTO Michael Svekuch has left Apple to join electric air taxi startup Archer Aviation.
Less than a week later, three more apparently left the Apple Car team for other similar positions. Two went to Archer Aviation and the third to Joby Aviation.
Allegations regarding Apple Car schematics in January 2022
Apple may have been looking for partners for its Apple Car in 2020, a report suggested in January 2022 when a Japanese parts supplier allegedly showed schematics for electric car.
In January 2020, the Texas office of Japanese auto supplier Sanden was allegedly visited by a man who identified himself as an Apple parts manager. – performance of vehicle components.
The parts manager then “slowly and deliberately” presented diagrams of the electric vehicle and air conditioning parts. The two companies then allegedly entered into a discussion about part requirements.
However, the pandemic forced Sanden to take action to settle the debt in June 2020, effectively ending his chances of working with Apple.
Apple is surveying South Korean auto parts suppliers in January 2022
In support of Wedbush's statement on the topic, an industry report says Apple will select its top “Apple Car” partner by the end of 2022. Wedbush's report said Apple would announce the partnership in 2022, but the newer report said Apple would announce the partnership only said selection would be completed.
Apple was believed to be in talks with one major manufacturer and also that it wanted to use several South Korean electronics firms.
Citing unspecified sources in the auto parts industry, Korea IT News reported that several firms have formed a “Task Force” to jointly acquire Apple's business. However, Apple introduced strict secrecy, which is why some companies refused to cooperate with it.
Apple Car Software Development Manager Leaves for Meta in January 2022
Apple Car Software Development Manager Reportedly Left Apple in January 2022 to Work for a Competitor.
Joe Bass has been the lead manager of the autonomous systems engineering program at Apple since January 2015. In January, X changed his LinkedIn profile to indicate that he had left Apple for a new position elsewhere.
After leaving Apple, he joined Meta as Director of Technical Program Management for Mixed Reality Technologies.
Tesla Design Head: Nothing to look forward to” in February 2022
Tesla's senior design executive Franz von Holzhausen criticized Apple in a February 2022 interview, saying that the company's products are “just little improvements on the same thing.”
The head of Tesla criticized Apple, hinting that the company is not innovative in the design of its products.
“The saddest thing about Apple products now is that there is nothing to wait for. I feel like it’s just a continuation,” Holzhausen said. “This is just a slight refinement of the same thing.”
Additionally, Holzhausen said that “from an inspiration standpoint, it was difficult to get super motivated by what they were doing.”
Luxshare joined Chery Automobile to promote electric vehicles in February 2022.
Luxshare, which assembles Apple AirPods, invested in the Chinese electric vehicle company in February 2022.
Even as Luxshare Eager to take on more iPhone orders, the firm has followed its rivals in seeking to avoid becoming overly reliant on Apple. As Foxconn recently did, Luxshare has turned to the electric vehicle market.
Luxshare Precision Industry is a joint venture with the Chery New Energy division of Chery Automobile.
It is reported that Chery New Energy was to be created within three months with a capitalization of $267 million. Luxshare was to receive a 30% stake in the construction of the new plant.
Around the same time, Luxshare was reportedly seeking to raise $2 billion to fund new projects, including wearable technology lines and some smart vehicles.
Apple Car's Autopilot system is rumored to be connected to a new Korean supplier in February 2022
As reported In a February 2022 report, OSAT (Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test) was working with Apple on an Autopilot chip module. Unnamed sources in the report claim that the project began in 2021 and was expected to be completed in 2023.
There are few details. The publication says that sources claim that the processor and its outsourcing to OSAT is reminiscent of how Tesla created its Autopilot.
Competition among manufacturers intensifies to meet future demand for Apple Car in March 2022
Apple has been rumored to be working with several car manufacturers to create the Apple Car, but it will eventually have to turn to China if it wants to succeed in that market, reports from March 2022 said.
At the launch, Apple was expected to collaborate with the South Korean company Hyundai or the Canadian Magna International, the report says. However, if the Apple Car becomes a global product sold in China, industry sources suggest Apple will need Chinese manufacturers.
Foxconn and the Luxshare-Chery partnership were mentioned, but negotiations continued.
Kuo doubts Apple Car release in 2025 as Apple Car team disbanded in March 2022.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that the design team involved in pre-production Apple Car has been disbanded, and without quick development, the car will not make its expected 2025 launch.
According to the analyst, Apple did not have a project team in March 2022. Kuo did not provide any details, so it is unknown how long the team had been disbanded or what stage it was at. .
Ford poaches Apple executive to restructure Ford+ in March 2022
Apple chief Jennifer Waldo has joined Ford as part of a restructuring of the Ford+ car company and a push to compete with Tesla with electric vehicles in March 2022.
Jennifer Waldo, whose role at Apple was the much broader role of Vice President of People and Business Partners , has moved into the role of Ford's new chief people and employee experience officer.
Apple Car is rumored to release a new custom OS to manage all aspects of driving in March 2022
A report in March claimed that Apple plans to have its own centrally integrated OS for the Apple Car, which has long been rumored, similar to how Tesla has one system that manages driving controls and entertainment.
Supply chain sources have reported that Apple was specifically developing the operating system which would be a “centrally integrated operating system (OS) like Tesla.”
It would be similar to Tesla in the sense that it is a single system that controls all aspects of the car. So it would be range from driving features such as navigation and lane control to built-in Apple Music integration and air conditioning.
Apple hires Ford veteran for 'Apple Car' project in May 2022
Apple hired vehicle and safety expert Desi Ujkasevic from Ford in May 2022, instead of months earlier.
After 30 years at Ford, Ujkasevic was hired specifically for an automotive project.She began working at Ford as an engineer in 1991 and then rose to manager, chief engineer, and then director.
Patent pending: Siri can select destinations and ask where to park
In the patent application “Controlling Self-Driving Vehicles Around a Destination Using Intent Signals,” published in May 2022, Apple explores how a self-driving system could interpret voice commands, automatically decide where best to take the user in response, and then request additional information. Details on where to park.
For example, Apple writes, if a person states, “I'd like to buy some plants for my garden,” outside a large retail store, the navigation manager might determine that it would be advisable to park the car near an entrance labeled “gardening.” ” or “garden supplies.”
In this case, the car doesn't just determine the best parking spot, it first interprets the user's statement and has decided to drive to the nearest “big box retail store.”
Apple Car Project Loses Another Executive Six Months After Hire in May 2022
After his hiring in November 2021, it took until May 2022 for C.J. Moore to leave Apple, giving him a tenure of just six months.
Moore left Apple to work at autonomous vehicle company Luminar.
Volkswagen CEO isn't sure Apple wants to build cars in June 2022
Volkswagen CEO says he's sure Apple intends to expand CarPlay, but did not think that it could release its own Apple Car.
“I'm not sure Apple will actually bring cars to market,” Herbert Diess said in June 2022. “It will take a lot of effort.” At the Hub.berlin conference, he said he was confident that Apple wanted to provide software for what the auto industry calls the “cockpit” of vehicles.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is reported to drive a Rivian pickup truck in Sun Valley in July 2022
As part of visits to Allen & During a Sun Valley press conference in July 2022, Tim Cook apparently checked out a potential competitor's product in the automotive space.
Cook was seen riding in a green Rivian electric pickup truck in downtown Sun Valley on Thursday, according to people familiar with the incident. Cook allegedly transported the Apple CEO from the Sun Valley resort to downtown for dinner.
Apple Car Project Concerned with Control Demonstrations and Uncertain July 2022 Timeline
A July 2022 report states that the Apple Car Project has suffered repeated setbacks throughout its development, in part due to the need to constantly prove its worth management. trajectory.
Overall, the project showed that the attempt to influence the automobile industry was on shaky ground.
In one of the key examples in the report, Apple used several prototype self-driving cars to drive 40 miles in Montana in August 2021. The project, which was filmed using drones, aimed to create a polished video for Apple's top executives to demonstrate that things were going well.
Although the video demonstration was a success, including demonstrating that vehicles could drive without the need for high-definition 3D road maps while driving, it was short-lived. The same vehicles traveling in Silicon Valley continue to suffer from problems including lane problems and curb slamming.
Apple is hiring a veteran Lamborghini boss in July 2022
In July 2022, the iPhone maker reportedly hired Luigi Taraborelli, a 20-year Lamborghini veteran who oversaw chassis and vehicle dynamics at the automaker.
During his time at Lamborghini, Taraborelli worked on models such as the Urus, Huracan and Aventador, as well as the Huracan Sterrato and the Asterion concept car.
Along with chassis development, Taraborelli also worked on areas such as handling, suspension, steering, brakes and wheels.
YouTuber explains Apple's VR patented solution to motion sickness in May 2022
YouTube People Mark Rober talks about his time at Apple in May 2022, including the rationale for his work on a patent for an enhanced virtual display for the Apple Car. Robert, best known for his science videos on YouTube, was also a former Apple employee.
During the interview, Rober talked about a patent for an “augmented virtual display” that could be used in a car. The patent basically describes a virtual reality system in which the user is in a car, with the system taking into account the movement of the vehicle.
Citing that 40% of people suffer from some form of motion sickness, Robert asks: “Wouldn't it be interesting if you could use virtual reality to solve this problem, because motion sickness is when your internal gyroscope isn't working? ” match what your eye sees, so if you're sitting in the back seat and you can't see ahead, you start to feel sick because you don't know what's going on.”
If you could know the vehicle's movements and show it to the user in virtual reality, “you could potentially not get seasick,” he adds.
Former Apple engineer agrees to plea deal for stealing trade secrets in August 2022
Former Apple employee accused of stealing trade secrets , linked to a secret company project, pleaded guilty in federal court in August 2022. Previously, Xiaolang Zhang, who declared his innocence in 2018, changed his plea.
Zhang was a member of Project Titan and was responsible for developing and testing circuits that analyzed vehicle sensor data. With massive access to various Apple databases containing trade secrets and intellectual property, he downloaded the documents and attempted to flee the country.
He was arrested at San Jose International Airport while trying to board a flight to Beijing.
Details of Zhang's plea agreement with the U.S. government were not made public, but he faced up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
The Apple Car team will reform before the end of 2022, Kuo said in September 2022
After previously saying the Apple Car team had been killed off, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said a tweet in September 2022 said Apple would “likely create a new Apple Car design team before the end of 2022.”
Kuo used information obtained from a survey, most likely conducted among supply chain participants.
Rumors claim the Apple Car will debut in 2026 and cost less than $100,000 in December 2022
Extensive Bloomberg Report Suggests that the Apple Car will take longer to produce in December 2022 due to Apple making changes to the project.
Instead of a full self-driving system, Apple planned to create a more traditional car design with a steering wheel and pedals. Sources claim that fully autonomous driving will still be available, but only on motorways.
The launch was also planned for 2026.
In addition to the timing change, Apple has apparently also changed its pricing plans. Originally expecting to sell the Apple Car for over $120,000, it was assumed that Apple planned for it to cost consumers less than $100,000.
Apple's self-driving car testing program will grow to more than 200 drivers in March 2023.
Data from the California Department of Motor Vehicles released in March 2023 showed that Apple has 67 vehicles and 201 drivers registered to test autonomous driving features on public roads.
Starting January 2023, Apple increased the number of authorized drivers from 196 to 201. The number of vehicles remained stable at 67.
Apple recorded one collision in the first quarter of 2023, but it was minor. The car's tire and rim touched the curb, but authorities did not intervene.
Apple has reported 16 traffic accidents in California since it was recorded.
Apple Car could get parts made by iPhone 3D sensor supplier, says March 2023 report
According to a report According to sources in March 2023, the LiDAR capabilities of the self-driving system, which is used to determine the road ahead, are complemented by new sensors. One of the companies supplying sensors is Wenmao.
Wenmao is an existing Apple supplier that supplies the LiDAR sensors used in iPhones, so it has some knowledge of how the supply chain works and Apple's high expectations from suppliers.
While it may take some time to validate automotive-grade LiDAR sensors, it is likely that Wenmao will secure orders based on its previous work and quality standards, the source added.
Patent: Apple Car dashboard may look different between driver and driver. passenger in April 2023.
The patent, published in April 2023 and titled “Time Sequential Directional Backlight Display,” does not strictly mention cars, vehicles, drivers or passengers. However, since it is listed as a “navigation device” in its list of uses, it can be used with the Apple Car.
In general terms, the patent describes how the display can display different information to different viewers. One user interface that can be cluttered with navigation and not distracting may only be visible to the driver. In this case, the passenger can see a more typical entertainment interface.
The system will do this by polarizing the screen so that the two images can be viewed in different directions.
Third former Apple engineer charged with stealing Apple Car technology in May 2023
The Department of Justice has charged a third former engineer with alleged identity theft – driving technology cars in 2018, after an engineer tried to transfer Apple trade secrets to a Chinese autonomous driving technology company.
The Department of Justice announced that on April 11, 2023, it filed charges in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco against Weibao Wang. Wang was accused of stealing and attempting to steal Apple shares. source code for full autonomy”, tracking systems, behavior planning systems and descriptions of system equipment.
Wang worked at Apple for one year before accepting a position at the U.S. subsidiary of an unnamed Chinese autonomous driving technology company. Four months before he finally left Apple, he allegedly siphoned off “large volumes” of classified technology and source code.
Despite the abundance of evidence and the search of his home, Wang was still able to leave the country, promising that he would not do so. Wang took a flight to Guangzhou, China, making prosecution difficult.
The secret Swiss laboratory is presented in May 2023
In May 2023, the “Zurich Vision Lab” was opened as a research center in Switzerland, which has been operated by Apple since 2017. The institution was believed to be recruiting employees for the Apple Car, but it was later revealed that its research activities contribute to other areas, including artificial intelligence.
Appearing to quote Apple's hiring announcements, McPrime said the Zurich research center is “an interface between modern machine learning, robotics and data science” that will drive “the next generation of Apple products.” .
Among the existing features that were supposed to be developed are the FaceTime eye contact correction system and Visual Lookup.
Apple reinvents the seat belt in June 2023
The big red seat belt button is well known throughout the world and is quite standard. Apple didn't want to keep this in the June 2023 patent.
When you get into an Apple Car, you'll see bright red seat belt buckles, the patent explains. But then, when it is put on, the red light goes off and the seat belt “may be unpainted (i.e., painted to match the opaque structure's nominal color).”
This light will be hidden behind a material with many small holes, small enough to be difficult to see with the naked eye, but still open enough to allow light to pass through.
More details about the Arizona facility in June 2023
A June 2023 report claimed that Apple was present at a test site in Arizona that was rumored to have previously been purchased by the shell corporation Route 14 Investment Partners.
A Lexus RX and sensor housing identical to Apple's active testbed vehicles were spotted at the facility, along with literal signs pointing to Apple.
Wedbush: Apple Car is a matter of 'when, not if' in June 2023
Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said in June 2023, that the Apple Car is on the way, expected to launch in 2026.
Earlier in February 2021, he said there was an 85% chance that Apple would formally announce a strategic automotive partnership within the next three to six months, which apparently didn't happen.
Apple revolutionary car audio system in July 2023
In July 2023, Apple published a collection of patent applications proposing five ways to improve in-car audio.
The list starts with speakers in the headrest, another one built into the car door that adjusts depending on whether the door is open or not, and, obviously, Handoff. There's also one dedicated to how to achieve the best sound balance for the driver and where passengers sit, and one that draws on the knowledge of Spatial Audio.
Apple expands test driver team in July 2023
A report published in July 2023 claimed that Apple had increased the number of drivers in a short period of time.
In March 2023, the California Department of Motor Vehicles reported that Apple had 66 registered vehicles and 201 drivers, a figure that dropped to 145 drivers in April. The report claims that the number of drivers has increased to 152.
SEC Sues Apple Car Exec in August 2023
A new lawsuit was filed in August 2023, but against two people associated with the project, and not directly with Apple.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has sued Ulrich Kranz, a senior Apple Car executive, and his former colleague Baul Balciunas for their work at electric vehicle startup Canoo. This company, of which Kranz was CEO, was founded between his time at BMW and joining Apple.
The lawsuit related to the alleged provision of unreasonable income forecasts and the fact that Krantz misrepresented his income.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sought to bar the two from serving as officers at public companies, which could have affected Kranz's work at Apple.
Augmented reality rides in August 2023
Among the pile of patents issued in August 2023 was one from Apple called “Augmented Reality Interface to Facilitate Identification of an Arriving Vehicle.”
In short, it was a patent for an AR application that would guide a person to a specific vehicle with a live view and a sign pointing to the said vehicle.
More useful for ride-sharing systems, the driver can be provided with an AR image of where the passenger is and display an indicator of the requested passenger. This will make it easier for drivers to find out what their rates are when they arrive.
Kuo: Don't expect Apple Car to appear anytime soon, September 2023
In a September 2023 forecast, Ming-Chi Kuo claims that he has lost visibility of the Apple Car and has no clarity on when it will go into production.
“Unless Apple adopts an acquisition strategy to enter the car market, I doubt the Apple Car will be able to go into mass production in the coming years,” Kuo tweeted.
Slow delivery may be possible, but so is fast result
The problem with saying that Apple will take a long time to bring the Apple Car to market is that Apple definitely isn't I'm starting from scratch. There are already hundreds of employees on staff who are experts in their fields, as well as a huge amount of intellectual property and, importantly, investment of time.
Although we talk about it as if Apple has already spent eight years on this project, it could actually be much longer. In order for a company to get to the point where it hires certain types of engineers and leases space, it must first work on the idea of justifying the costs.
Of course, differences in developments, ongoing changes in laws and regulations that could impact the development of self-driving vehicles, and even finding a manufacturing partner willing to work with Apple can all take time, lengthening the wait. before the first Apple Car hits the road.
Apple is also lucky that it has a gigantic war chest it can use if necessary, not to mention the tens of billions of dollars it brings in every quarter. There are no major concerns about cash shortages at this stage, and this likely won't be an issue for some time.
The iPhone maker is firmly in control of its automotive destiny. While the timing of when it will be revealed to the public remains firmly unknown, the project's extensive history means it could very well happen sooner than anyone expected.