Tag Archive: project titan

  1. Apple Acquires Self-Driving Car Startup Drive.ai

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    Image from Pixabay

    Apple has bought Drive.ai, one of the most promising self-driving startups in California, who wasn’t doing very good recently and was actually close to ceasing operations altogether. Maybe this was the very reason that Apple decided to go forward with the acquisition, as this was the right time to strike a good deal. Drive.ai was established in 2015 in Mountain View, and quickly grew into an expert in the field of AI-based self-driving systems for regular cars. Drive.ai’s units are independent of the vehicle, and can turn any car into an autonomously driven one through simple and relatively inexpensive modifications.

    Why does Apple need such a system? The Cupertino tech giant has been running a project codenamed “Titan” for at least five years now, with the goal being to develop a self-driving electric car. While the rumors about Apple have been rampant for quite some time, the particular project was disclosed in 2018, so the associated research and development goals were publicly confirmed. In the start of the year, Apple laid off more than 200 engineers from the Titan, so uncertainty engulfed the project. As some noticed on Linkedin last month, there have been new members joining in with several Drive.ai employees changing to “Apple” employees and stating that they’re now working on special projects that are underpinned by data analytics, software engineering, and system development. Most of these people are hardware and software engineers, so Apple clearly has something going.

    In spite of these developments being publicized, Apple is not keen to share more details about their Titan project, when to expect the first prototype, and what level of autonomy they’re after. Drive.ai’s kits promise the withdrawal of the need for the “safety driver”, but how close this is to reality remains to be seen. According to BBC reports, Apple is currently operating a test fleet of 66 driver-less cars that roam around Cupertino, so these are bound to get the Drive.ai kits and hit the road for a new round of testing.