Apple Abandons Car Plans 'For Now,' Sets Late 2017 Deadline to Decide Fate of Self-Driving System

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has given its automotive team a late 2017 deadline to "prove the feasibility" of its self-driving car system, and decide on a final direction for the platform, according to Bloomberg.

    Apple's ambitions no longer include building its own car "for now," but it could return to developing its own vehicle in the future, or partner with existing carmakers, the report claims.

    The project's shift has allegedly resulted in hundreds of employees being reassigned, let go, or leaving on their own terms since August, including more than 120 software engineers.

    The remaining members of Apple's car team, which comprises about 1,000 people, are said to be working on "autonomous programs, vision sensors, and simulators for testing the platform in real-world environments." Apple is said to have kept staff numbers in the team steady by hiring people to help with the new focus.

    The report follows months of internal struggles as Apple's so-called "Project Titan" team is believed to have faced delays and internal strife.

    "Apple Car" lead Steve Zadesky reportedly stepped down from the project earlier this year, with his responsibilities shifting to Apple's hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio until longtime Apple executive Bob Mansfield took over the team in April and shifted the project's direction.
    While plans for an Apple-designed vehicle by the early 2020s are seemingly in flux, the company's research and development plans could change over the coming months and years. Nevertheless, Tesla CEO Elon Musk believes Apple will not have its own vehicle ready by 2020, calling it a "missed opportunity."

    Article Link: Apple Abandons Car Plans 'For Now,' Sets Late 2017 Deadline to Decide Fate of Self-Driving System
  2. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
  3. iapplelove macrumors 601


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
  4. sputnikv macrumors 6502


    Oct 3, 2009
    that's unfortunate. if a company like apple with all of its immense cash reserves and resources can't move forward, then what hope is there for others?
  5. Chrjy macrumors 6502a


    May 19, 2010
    Be nice if they started to laser focus again like that have in the past with just a few awesome products....getting back to Macs would be a great starting point ;-)
  6. chr1s60 macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    Focus on the computer/software aspect, not the actual car part. Makes a million times more sense.
  7. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    I'm sick of waiting for this Apple Car to come out.

    Instead, I went out and bought a DELL XPS. Couldn't be happier with my decision.
  8. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    The XPS 15, is actually very nice. ;)
  9. RedOrchestra Suspended

    Aug 13, 2012
    Bit off more than they can chew ... a recurring theme at Apple.
  10. gim macrumors 6502


    Jul 27, 2014
    They should just have bought Tesla if they wanted to make an Apple car.
  11. otternonsense, Oct 17, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016

    otternonsense macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2016
    What a titanic waste of time and resources. Meanwhile, happy Tim continues tweeting one photo after another from his super awesome trip to Japan.

    I also recall how excited he was about the rise of services at the Q3 earnings call, despite all hardware sales having gone south.

    With a languished Mac, iPhone and iPads that haven't been redesigned in years, iPads marketed as computer replacements, discontinued Cinema Displays and half-hearted peripherals, I wonder if Tim is invested in hardware at all or his vision is exclusively focused on services and PR. Which would be ironic considering the UX and UI of iOS and MacOS is in fact weakening. Still, he doesn't seem to flinch one bit.

    It's an easy conclusion, I know, but evidence points to that direction.
  12. WiiDSmoker macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2009
    Hermitage, TN
    This is what happens when you abandon the headphone jack.
  13. chr1s60 macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    Yeah that would have been an awful move. Buy a company that would want a ridiculous amount of money paid for it, despite the fact that they aren't profitable and seem to be headed towards losing even more money with the release of their next car.
  14. kattskrall macrumors regular

    Apr 8, 2012
    Until we can program morality, self driving cars won't be a thing.

    (The classic problem when the car has to decide who to kill if the brakes fail scenario)
  15. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    It's not a lack of cash. It's a lack of time. If Apple wanted to shake up the auto industry, they should have started moving on this back in 2010. They could have beaten Tesla to the punch.

    Tesla is in the same position today with EVs that Apple was in with iPods back in 2003. Everything is lined up - they have the technology and supply contracts ready - they'll dominate the industry within a few years.
  16. Nr123*123 macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2014
    Car manufacturing is a different kettle of fish to emojis and Apple just found that out.
  17. Felix01 macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2008
    Well, that didn't take Bob Mansfield very long to conclusively determine this project was a money pit which made no rational sense. Musk must be gloating.
  18. The Mercurian macrumors 68000

    Mar 17, 2012
    Nice congrats!! How many miles per gallon is it giving you ?
  19. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    Honestly the electric car competition is going to be quite complex in the next few years. While I like Testla, the competition from traditional car makers is going to start getting more serious, as makers move away from Diesel, and move into renewable options such as electric, fuel cell, and the likes. What we saw at the Paris auto show is likely just the tip of the iceberg.
  20. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
  21. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    Remember how many times you were faced with this scenario in the last year? In your life? Remember all your family members and friends who faced this scenario? Remember all the celebrities?

    This problem DOES NOT EXIST. If you're faced with the scenario where you can hit a pedestrian or a brick wall, the speed limit is 20 MPH. Hitting something or someone will injure them - maybe send them to a hospital. They almost certainly won't die. Unless you're speeding badly.

    With an autonomous car, defects in the brakes would be immediately noticed. The car would demand that it be serviced before driving you anywhere.
  22. webbuzz macrumors 65832


    Jul 24, 2010
  23. thekeyring macrumors 68040

    Jan 5, 2012
    Tesla is doing okay.
  24. peterh988 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2011
    I always thought Apple should have concentrated on the hardware to enable a self drive, rather than designing the whole vehicle themselves. Invent and sell a top notch guidance system and let other incorporate it into their vehicles.
  25. DynaFXD macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2010
    East Coast
    Seems like Apple is looking for the next growth market now that computers, tablets, and cell phones have (or are well onto) plateau'd to a commodity product. Strange that they picked cars, self driving or otherwise.

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