Apple Has Not Given Up On Project Titan Just Yet

CTVKhanhL - Apr 22, 2019, 7:47 am IST

Recent news suggests that Apple is developing new technologies for the LiDAR array for its own self-driving car, confirming that it is still interested in autonomous transportation

Though there have been many troubles in the past that alluded to early cancellation, Apple’s ambitious project developing a self-driving car ‘Project Titan’ seems to still be alive. Report from news sources suggests that Apple is trying to find alternatives for its advanced LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) array to be: “smaller, cheaper and more easily mass produced than current technology.”

Apple Car 1
What an Apple-branded car could look like.

Aside from being on the look-out for third-party LiDAR techs on the market, it was also reported that the company had dedicated an entire team of engineers within to develop its sensors. It is not a secret that Apple has been trying to turn its R&D in-house and tries to create all of the vital components on its own. So it would be surprising if Apple did not do the same to Project Titan.

Apple Is Still Interested

We still don’t know what kind of fruit the project will bear for Apple. But one thing we do know is that the project is a re-affirmation of Apple’s supposedly waning interest in infiltrating the transportation market. The news of massive lay-offs of Apple’s employees from Project Titan deeply concerned to the future of the project, and this report - for now - gave hope for the project.

A couple of months ago, it was reported that Apple decided to lay-off up to 200 employees from the project. Apple’s secretive nature tends to make us take any Apple news with a grain of salt, but the thing is that Apple confirmed the lay-off in a statement.

“We have an incredibly talented team working on autonomous systems and associated technologies at Apple. As the team focuses their work on several critical areas for 2019, some groups are being moved to projects in other parts of the company, where they will support machine learning and other initiatives, across all of Apple.

We continue to believe there is a vast opportunity with autonomous systems, that Apple has unique capabilities to contribute, and that this is the most ambitious machine learning project ever.”

Vague Details

Like we have said, the accurate details about Project Titan are still kept under tight wraps by Apple. It is an exciting time when Apple finally revealed this new category of product to us. But from what we are seeing, Apple might have already given up on trying to develop an entirely new vehicle on its own. Instead, focusing on self-driving technology.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Tim Cook - current CEO of Apple - commented on the direction that the company’s heading: We’re focusing on autonomous systems. It’s a core technology that we view as very important. It’s probably one of the most difficult A.I. projects actually to work on.”

Apple Lowers First Quarter Revenue
Tim Cook speaking during a keynote

This is no doubt a hint on the executive part about Project Titan. And while it still doesn’t provide us with details, it is clear that Apple is still struggling to perfect the techs and not to the point of engineering an entire car out of it just yet.