Apple has signed a partnership with auto giant Volkswagen to develop its self-driving car technology and bring it to reality. This is a striking change in what Apple has initially planned with its own electric self-driving car that would push the world to the next generation of transportation. The company wanted its self-driving car to be what the original iPhone was to the mobile phone industry back when it launched in 2007. As the company started working on its plans, it realized that the ground reality of its plans is different with competition such as Alphabet with Waymo, Uber, and Tesla jumping in the competition with considerable head-start.
According to the report by New York Times, Apple will turn Volkswagen’s VW T6 Transporter vans in self-driving shuttles to help its employees to commute between its offices in the Silicon Valley. The interesting thing to note here is that Volkswagen was not even Apple’s first choice for a partnership as it was pursuing BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Through the report points out that the company is behind schedule and it is taking up all the attention of Apple car team.
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The report also revealed that Apple has no concrete plans about the direction of its car division including any road-map beyond the van or any ambitions on the commercial front of things. Its competition has been working on its self-driving systems since the last couple of years while testing their systems on road with their fair share of hiccups. The company has declined to issue any official statement about the report.
Waymo seems to be in the lead while signing newer partners to develop and test its self-driving technology while. Tesla is also working on its technology as it battles auto-pilot related accidents while Uber has decided to shut its Arizona-based self-driving testing operations while laying off about 300 people. This report comes days after it was revealed that Apple now has a permit to test a total of 45 autonomous self-driving vehicles on public roads. In comparison, Tesla has permits for 39 and while Uber has 29 permits in the state of California.