Apple’s autonomous shuttle project to use Volkswagen vans after unsuccessful negotiations with BMW, others [u]



After rejecting attempts to partner with major automakers for an ambitious electric vehicle project, Apple signed an agreement with Volkswagen to convert a number of T6 Transporter The New York Times reports that the remains of Apple's automotive team are working with Volkswagen on a self-contained shuttle that was previously rumored.

Citing sources familiar with the matter. Service.

According to reports, Apple will use T6 Transporter from Volkswagen for its PAIL pilot program, or Palo Alto for Infinite Loop, which is expected to move Apple employees from one Silicon Valley office to another. The company is working with Volkswagen subsidiary Italdesign to equip T6 vans with specialized boards and seats, while other modifications include on-board computers, sensors and an electric battery.

Revealed for the first time in a report last August, the Apple PAIL project is supposedly behind and represents much of the car team's time. When it is finally deployed, two operators will operate each self-controlled shuttle: a backup driver and a co-pilot.

The partnership with Volkswagen, which was attacked at the end of last year, marks the end of the sporadic conversations that Apple held with the luxury carmakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz in recent years in the hope of jointly developing a fully autonomous electric vehicle. These negotiations, reported for the first time in 2015, involved the Project Titan automobile initiative, now discarded.

Previous reports suggested that BMW was reluctant to log in with Apple, since doing so would mean sharing manufacturing experience. In 2016, it was said that Titan's team had hit another obstacle when talks with BMW and Daimler came down due to disagreements over ownership of the user's data.

According to today's report, Apple was in talks with BMW "for years." The technology giant also held partnership negotiations with Mercedes-Benz on a contract project called "Bruce" for more than a year, but the dialogue ceased after the two companies could not reach an agreement on which entity would control the experience and the data. Apple also discussed partnerships with Nissan, BYD Auto of China, McLaren and Magna Steyr.

Apple began working on its self-driving initiative in 2014. AppleInsider was the first to detail the key aspects of the initiative that takes place in secret offices in and around Cupertino.

At its height, the Apple car team had more than 1,000 employees in its ranks, with specialists in automotive hardware for software that focused on a rethinking of the car. The company's efforts went far beyond autonomous driving systems, with the team investigating designs that included motorized doors and a balloon-shaped steering wheel.

Apple initially had plans to build its own car from scratch, going so far as to begin preliminary discussions to build an automotive plant in the US. UU., NYT sources said. As the company realized that the company was more onerous than the original thinking, its strategy was to establish manufacturing partnerships with existing car manufacturers. Those plans included the construction of a vehicle designed by Apple, and later went on to request integral parts such as chbadis and wheels.

Apple then asked potential partners to equate their own vehicles with custom-made sensors and software, according to the report.

AppleInsider sources said Apple's ambitious venture began to unravel as disagreements between team leaders such as former project leader Steve Zadesky and senior executives took root. Veteran executive Bob Mansfield took control of "Titan" last year and reduced the team to the necessary staff as the project refocused on software and support solutions.

With a renewed emphasis on specialists in autonomous systems, not in the production of automobiles, the shuttle is now the main objective of the car team.

More recently, Apple increased its fleet of California-based self-test vehicles to 55 automobiles and 83 licensed pilots. Seen in and around the Bay Area, Apple's test cars are equipped with advanced sets of sensors, GPS equipment and cameras. Today's report says that Lexus test vehicles were equipped by the Virginia-based firm Torc Robotics as part of a Baja project code name.

Update: This article has been updated to reflect additional information attached to the original NYT story.

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