Why Did Apple’s Self-Driving Car Project Fail?

TECH NEWS – After a decade, Apple has abandoned its car project and is focusing on artificial intelligence instead. Why? That’s what Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman talked to Drake Bennett about.


The Apple Car prototype was a white minivan with rounded sides that made it look like a loaf of bread (and that’s what it was called internally). It had sliding doors, a large glass roof, and used whitewall tires, so it wasn’t a Tesla-like prototype. It also had a huge TV with a robust sound system and seats that converted to recliners. The company had considered buying Tesla, but three years after he became CEO, Tim Cook called off the deal, even though it had been in talks with Elon Musk. At the time, Tesla had a market value of $30 billion, and Apple’s entry into the car market seemed like a good opportunity.

Not only was Apple thinking of acquiring Tesla, but a much bigger company could have come to Apple: Mercedes-Benz! But the negotiations ultimately led to a partnership, not an acquisition: the German carmaker wanted to work with Apple, but in return wanted the self-driving platform and control interface in its own cars, and that’s why Apple backed out of the deal. The project was too ambitious, which is why it failed: the prototype didn’t even get to the point where a full-scale model was tested on public roads. There were technical difficulties with the self-driving platform, and the punitive nature of the automotive economy also led the Cupertino-based tech giant to walk away from cars.

Apple Car was doomed to fail because Apple repeatedly tried to partner with automakers, but each time the negotiations ended in failure. After that, they continued with their own development and research, and despite hiring people, the project went nowhere. So, after years of problems, the whole thing finally came to a halt, and perhaps it is for the best, as advances in technology may not allow for 100% safety in self-driving cars.

Source: WCCFTech, Bloomberg

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