Keen followers of either the autonomous vehicle scene or Apple as a company have probably rolled their eyes at my terribly punny (not funny as my laptop tried to correct it to) title.
As I sit typing this on my trusty Apple MacBook, I read that Apple's autonomous and electric vehicle project, dubbed 'Titan' has, according to insiders and analysts, been shelved. Recent developments within the company and the automotive industry have resulted in the tech giant reverting to merely creating software for autonomous cars, with many staff previously tasked to 'Titan' being reassigned.
Recently there was also speculation of an alliance, or takeover, of the spots/supercar manufacturer and F1 heavyweight, McLaren and Apple. These two companies, while not linked by capabilities or products, are inherently linked through their outlook and modes of operation. One only has to google search the Foster+Partners McLaren Technology Centre; perhaps the world's cleanest and beautifully designed car development and manufacturing plant on the planet.
Should Apple have entered the automotive market themselves, they would have been on the 'back foot' from the start. Firstly, convincing the average consumer to purchase a car made by their mobile phone manufacturer would probably be a struggle. Also, the company would have had to seriously invest in hardware manufacturing capabilities that it has never embarked upon before; there are marked differences between producing a mobile phone or laptop compared to a vehicle.
While the contribution of such a well respected tech giant is welcomed in the autonomous vehicle community, their change in direction is certainly for the best.
Maybe the reassigned staff can concentrate their efforts on continued innovation and sales; Apple reported it's first drop in annual revenues in 13 years, just this week.
I'm a PhD student in the UK looking in to consumer innovation resistance toward autonomous vehicles. This will be a blog about both my research specifically and the wider autonomous vehicle landscape.