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Apple Car project plagued by problems, including test vehicle almost hitting jogger

The road ahead seems bumpy for the Apple Car.

A new report reveals that the effort, called Project Titan and dates back to 2014, has been plagued by a ‘revolving door of leaders’, wasted time on sleek demos and a lack of commitment to mass production by CEO Tim Cook.

According to a report from The information that is based on conversations with 20 company employees, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi is ‘particularly skeptical’ about the project and has expressed his concerns to other senior executives at Apple.

Cook – who ‘rarely visits’ the project’s offices in Santa Clara, California – has also ‘not been ready to commit to mass projection of a car’, says the report, which has frustrated other leaders at the company.

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Apple Car has been plagued by management turnover, ever-shifting goals and a lack of full commitment from the company’s top leaders, areport in The Information states. Pictured is a prototype of the car based on actual Apple patents

Apple CEO Tim Cook, pictured above, would not have visited the project's office much

Apple CEO Tim Cook, pictured above, would not have visited the project's office much

Apple Senior VP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi, pictured above, would have been skeptical about the project

Apple Senior VP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi, pictured above, would have been skeptical about the project

The Apple Car effort, called Project Titan, has been plagued by a variety of issues, according to a new report in The Information based on interviews with 20 employees

Project Titan has been led by Ian Goodfellow, Bob Mansfield, Doug Field and Kevin Lynch at various times.

Earlier this year, one of Apple’s test cars nearly hit a jogger while moving at about 15 miles per hour.

The Information reports that the car’s software first identified the jogger as a ‘stationary object’ before re-categorizing it as a ‘stationary person’ and then finally as a ‘moving pedestrian’.

However, even with that change, the car has ‘just slightly adjusted its path’.

Earlier this year, one of Apple's test cars nearly hit a jogger while moving at about 15 miles per hour. Pictured above is a prototype of the Apple Car

Earlier this year, one of Apple's test cars nearly hit a jogger while moving at about 15 miles per hour. Pictured above is a prototype of the Apple Car

Earlier this year, one of Apple’s test cars nearly hit a jogger while moving at about 15 miles per hour. Pictured above is a prototype of the Apple Car

Fortunately, the backup driver hit the brakes ‘at the last minute’, causing the car to stop ‘within a few feet’ of the jogger.

If the man had not intervened, Apple’s tests indicated that the car ‘almost certainly hit the jogger’.

After the incident, Apple would temporarily ground its fleet of test cars to investigate what happened and added the crosswalk to its map database.

The current appearance of the car has 'four seats facing inwards so that passengers can talk to each other and a curved ceiling similar to the roof of a Volkswagen Beetle', the report claims. Pictured above is a prototype of the car's interior based on Apple patents

The current appearance of the car has 'four seats facing inwards so that passengers can talk to each other and a curved ceiling similar to the roof of a Volkswagen Beetle', the report claims. Pictured above is a prototype of the car's interior based on Apple patents

The current appearance of the car has ‘four seats facing inwards so that passengers can talk to each other and a curved ceiling similar to the roof of a Volkswagen Beetle’, the report claims. Pictured above is a prototype of the car’s interior based on Apple patents

The report of problems comes at a time when a survey is in progress Consumer Reports shows that 28 percent of Americans ‘would not consider’ buying an electric car – whether it be from Apple, Tesla and as one of the major car manufacturers.

Consumer Reports states that the most common concerns cited under that segment were charging, range of travel and cost.

Apple’s former chief design officer Jony Ive, who played a vital role in designing most of the company’s most popular products, is reportedly consulting with the tech giant and has told the Apple Car team to ‘in awe ‘of their design and’ do not try to hide the sensors. ‘

The current appearance of the car has ‘four seats facing inwards so that passengers can talk to each other and a curved ceiling similar to the roof of a Volkswagen Beetle’, reports The Information.

Apple Car designers are apparently experimenting with a trunk that automatically goes up and down to give owners ‘easier access to storage space’.

They have also considered a design that allows passengers to ‘lie flat and sleep in the car’, states the tech site.

The Apple Car team made several sleek demo videos for Cook and other high-level leaders – including a 40-mile trek through Montana filmed by drones – to demonstrate the project’s progress.

However, the example also showed how engineers ‘wasted valuable time choreographing demonstrations’ along familiar routes, proving that the technology works in specific locations but practically nowhere else.

‘If you spend enough money, you can get almost any fixed route to work,’ former Uber self-driving car engineer Arun Venkatadri told The Information. “But what remains to be seen is whether you can build your self-driving software in a scalable way and whether you can operate in a reasonably wide area.”

The company in Cupertino, California, is apparently still targeting 2025 for a potential launch of its self-driving car.

IS APPLE DEVELOPING ITS OWN SELF-FREE CAR?

Chief Executive Tim Cook has suggested that Apple wants to go further than integrating Apple smartphones into car infotainment systems.

Chief Executive Tim Cook has suggested that Apple wants to go further than integrating Apple smartphones into car infotainment systems.

Chief Executive Tim Cook has suggested that Apple wants to go further than integrating Apple smartphones into car infotainment systems.

Apple officially secured a license to test autonomous cars in California on April 14, 2018.

Rumors have been swirling the web since the year before that Apple toyed with the idea of ​​developing its own self-driving car.

But Apple executives were pretty vocal about their interest in the cars.

Chief Executive Tim Cook has suggested that Apple wants to go further than integrating Apple smartphones into car infotainment systems.

He called autonomous cars the ‘mother of all’ projects for artificial intelligence.

Apple’s secret fleet of ‘Project Titan’ self-driving cars has almost doubled in the first months of 2018.

It expanded its self-driving test fleet from 27 cars to more than 50 cars and tested some of them in California.

There has been no public announcement as to when the company will make its own cars, but Cook said in 2017 that Apple will focus on software for pre-existing cars.

One of Apple’s self-driving test cars, called ‘The Thing’, has six LIDAR – or light detection and range – sensors located on top of it to help the car ‘see’ its surroundings.

A broader outreach has yet to be announced.

Apple has established a partnership with Volkswagen to develop self-driving vans to commute Apple employees around their campus.

In self-driving cars, LIDAR sensors constantly scan the surrounding areas for information and act as the 'eyes' of the car.

In self-driving cars, LIDAR sensors constantly scan the surrounding areas for information and act as the 'eyes' of the car.

One of Apple's self-driving test cars, called 'The Thing', was spotted by some spectators late last year.

One of Apple's self-driving test cars, called 'The Thing', was spotted by some spectators late last year.

In self-driving cars, LIDAR sensors constantly scan the surrounding areas for information and act as the ‘eyes’ of the car

Apple Car project plagued by problems, including test vehicle almost hitting jogger Source link Apple Car project plagued by problems, including test vehicle almost hitting jogger

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