New technology. Apple’s self-driving car is far from being without a steering wheel

Apple’s top-secret self-driving car project is still a long way off after eight years of big ambitions and changes of course, according to a survey by the specialist site The information released on Monday.

The iPhone maker has never publicly admitted to working on developing an autonomous vehicle without a steering wheel, despite several leaks in the press over several years.

Riskier bet

According to The informationwho says he spoke to about twenty people who were part of the project, the technology giant sinned in several areas, but especially the autonomy software, which should detect potential obstacles and adapt driving behavior accordingly.

Unlike Tesla, which is testing autonomous features and gradually adding to its vehicles’ software, or Waymo (Google) and Cruise, which have begun testing their robotic axle fleets with passengers, Apple plans to deploy already fully autonomous vehicles. marketing cars to consumers is a riskier gamble financially and technically, the article notes.

He describes how the project, dubbed Titan, suffered from overambition, such as trying to build a completely new car, and numerous departures from experienced executives, notably due to lack of support from the leaders.

Above all, “engineers wasted precious time organizing demonstrations on specific routes using technology that works there, but almost nowhere else,” says the journalist.

A rescue driver almost hit a pedestrian at 25 km/h

Apple is testing its prototypes with a backup driver in Los Angeles, San Diego and around Lake Tahoe. But earlier this year, one of them nearly hit a pedestrian at 25 km/h, and an internal investigation found the incident would have happened without the last-minute intervention of the employee behind the wheel.

No noticeable breakthrough

The rare press leaks about a potential “Apple Car” are closely followed in the tech world where the Apple brand has built a reputation for producing advanced, powerful, intuitive and innovative electronic devices. But since the departure and death in 2011 of Steve Jobs, the emblematic co-founder of the California group, the company hasn’t made a significant breakthrough beyond its connected watch, the Apple Watch, and its diversification into services. With every new product presentation, the market is eagerly looking forward to a self-driving car or a virtual reality helmet, also in the pipeline.

According to The information1,000 people are currently working on the Titan project, which costs more than $1 billion a year, of the $22 billion Apple spends on research and development.

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