Since 2014, there have been numerous rumors about Apple's self-driving project known as Titan. At one time, the project had a 1,000 workers with the goal of designing and building a self-driving electric vehicle. But numerous issues and changes in vision has caused the project to be majorly behind scheduled. A new report from the New York Times shines a light at the current circumstances.
According to sources with knowledge of the project, Apple signed a deal with Volkswagen late last year that would see the automaker provide less than two dozen of T6 Transporter vans to the technology company. Apple will equip the vans with their self-driving tech and be used as shuttles around their Cupertino base. The sources say the vans are "consuming nearly all of the Apple car team’s attention". A number of former Apple employees added that the project "lacked a clear plan beyond the vans, including any near-term commercial goals."
Volkswagen wasn't Apple's first choice for an automaker partner. BMW and Mercedes-Benz were the tech company's first and second choices. Various discussions would be held with both German automakers, but would ultimately go no-where as they balked at Apple's request "to hand over control of the data and design." Other automakers were spoken to, but wouldn't go far as automakers were not ready to give up control or Apple wanted " a more attractive partner." Volkswagen, however, jumped at the chance, as it was seen as a way to help improve their reputation after the diesel emission mess.
It's unclear whether this deal will only be for the vans or extend further.
Source: New York Times