Apple Will Test its Autonomous Vehicle Technology in its Campus Shuttle
Apple will test its autonomous vehicle technology in a shuttle that transports the company’s employees between buildings on its campus, according to a new report.
In a Tuesday article about Apple’s “Project Titan” autonomous vehicle strategy that cites five unnamed Apple employees, The New York Times reports that the shuttle will most likely come from an established car manufacturer, rather than being a wholly in-house creation.
This, the story argues, is emblematic of Apple’s decision to steer away from the development of an Apple car in favor of focusing on autonomous driving technology that could make it into other manufacturers’ vehicles. In other words, Apple is going the same route Google has chosen with its Waymo spin-off.
The shuttle scheme is called Palo Alto to Infinite Loop (PAIL)—Apple’s original Cupertino headquarters, near Palo Alto, California, are on a road called Infinite Loop.
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According to the NYT piece, Apple’s engineers were originally working on designing a whole driverless car, even contemplating a literal reinvention of the wheel (spherical, rather than simply round). However, the lack of a clear vision sunk these efforts.
When Apple brought in company veteran Bob Mansfield to lead Titan, he scrapped the plans for a full-blown Apple car and shrunk the team, though it is now growing again as the company focuses on autonomous systems.
Fortune asked Apple for comment on the New York Times report and will update this story with any response.