Apple team up Volkswagen to use its T6 Transporter, equipped with its autonomous driving tech, as employee shuttles

Team OD Updated: May 24, 2018, 02:58 PM IST

Apple has teamed up with Volkswagen to use the German carmaker's T6 Transporter, equipped with its autonomous driving tech, as employee shuttles in Silicon Valley. This comes after Apple curtailed it Project Titan self-driving car project to a smaller program focused on supply self-driving tech to other parties.

The program started off in 2014 and reached its peak of about a 1000 employees which included software programmers, automotive engineers, rocket scientists and an industrial-design team. The project has been plagued with difficulties and the tech giant is left far behind rivals like Waymo and Uber. The company shift in strategy led to a renewed focus and the invariable trims in the workforce.

But the team now has a solid program which uses Lexus RX 450h SUVs equipped with a Logitech steering wheel and pedal kit with drive-by-wire technology fixed in the rear seat for the driver to intervene with. Its self-driving development platform is capable of sending electronic commands for steering, accelerating, and decelerating and can carry out some other driving tasks when needed, using tech similar to what is found in all autonomous vehicles. The VWs will likely have a system similar to this.

While more details are unavailable of this latest development, it is known that Apple had been scouting for car-makers to support its autonomous driving projects for a while now. There have been reports of its discussions with BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

It is no surprise to see Apple's interest in this field. The company has a history of being on the top all the latest developments in the tech sphere and also cause disruptions in segments it hasn't been present in before. Driverless cars are the next big thing in transport and AI, and it makes sense for Apple to be actively involved in this.

Using these vans in an internal scenario such as this will help the company under how this new tech is to live with daily and also be able to diagnose problems and find solutions quickly.

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