Apple has spent years trying to build a self-driving car, only to run into fundamental conflicts between its design philosophy and how other industries work. But it appears that Project Titan is getting on the road, finally.
Recetly, Apple scored approval from California’s DMV to install and test its self-driving vehicle platform on three luxury SUVs, with six drivers on the permit as well. As a rule, self-driving cars need to have a human behind the wheel to take over if something goes wrong. The idea is that instead of building a car, Apple will simply build the self-driving system, software and hardware, and car companies will retrofit their vehicles to use Apple’s gear.
It’s an interesting idea, but one with a competitive field. Self-driving vehicles are already starting to appear on the market with Cadillac’s Super Cruise self-driving system for the highway, and Ford is hoping to have a fully robotic car on the road by 2021. But if Apple can offer something new, or if its brand name offers enough luxury cred to make it a valuable marketing tool, it can probably find a niche for itself. Hopefully, they’ve learned their lesson about navigation from Apple Maps.