Apple 'Project Titan' vehicle could turn out to be an electric van

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 21
Apple's long-rumored "Project Titan" vehicle may not necessarily be for a "car," with a German magazine suggesting that, while still in the prototype stage, the eventual product may in fact end up being an electric-powered van.

An early render of what the
An early render of what the "Apple Car" could look like


Speculation and rumors over the years has suggested Apple has worked on producing its own self-designed vehicle, sometimes referred to as an "Apple Car." So far, all of the rumors and reporting reference it being a car of some description, but there is the possibility it could be something else.

According to multiple unnamed sources of Manager Magazin, prototypes of Apple's work have been seen painted in black and silver. While few details are provided by the publication about the vehicles, the main highlight is that vans are being tested, rather than cars.

The report also claims Apple's engineers are now working on the interior of the vehicle.

The "Apple Car," thought by some to be arriving between 2023 and 2025 at the earliest, has undergone development at Apple in a variety of different ways under the name "Project Titan." Originally working on an entire vehicle, the project changed its focus towards self-driving vehicle systems, though there are some signs it is shifting back towards overall vehicular design.

One notable example of the revival is the hiring of Andrew Kim in December, a former senior designer for Tesla, which may have taken place as part of a wider attempt by Apple to poach Tesla employees.

However, the "Project Titan" team recently suffered a blow, with more than 200 employees laid off from the autonomous vehicle group as part of a wider restructuring effort.

In its current form, "Project Titan" consists of a testbed for autonomous driving on a fleet of 66 Lexus SUVs, roaming around the San Francisco Bay Area to perfect the sensors, computer systems, and software required for a vehicle to safely drive itself.

Apple is also said to be applying some of Titan's technology into a self-driving shuttle program titled Palo Alto to Infinite Loop, or PAIL. The program is believed to be intended to ferry Apple employees between the Bay Area campuses, using specially modified Volkswagen vans.
patchythepirate
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,009member
    Would make much more sense since the first uses for the technology will be ride-sharing and delivery. Private vehicles are years off, maybe a decade IMHO. We'll see commercial uses far sooner, and in fact already beginning. 
    tmayAppleExposedSpamSandwichpatchythepirate
  • Reply 2 of 57
    I cant wait to use an Apple designed bus ,or public vehicle.
  • Reply 3 of 57
    The VW ID Buzz will be in full production and for sale before Apple gets out of the garage. Already approved for production in Germany and the US plant in Chattanooga.

    https://media.vw.com/models/id-buzz

    Just like with the Apple TV and streaming service, Apple has let others get out ahead.

    repressthiscaladanian
  • Reply 4 of 57
    FolioFolio Posts: 480member
    One California option has no seats. Just bed and surf board rack
    fotoformatmwhiterepressthisIreneWcornchip
  • Reply 5 of 57
    .
    I cant wait to use an Apple designed bus ,or public vehicle.
    It would break on first commute on NYC/NJ pot holes. I guarantee you.
  • Reply 6 of 57
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 649editor

    Oh yeah!
    cornchipmwhiteking editor the gratetoysandme
    van.jpg 22.5K
  • Reply 7 of 57
    davgreg said:
    The VW ID Buzz will be in full production and for sale before Apple gets out of the garage. Already approved for production in Germany and the US plant in Chattanooga.

    https://media.vw.com/models/id-buzz

    Just like with the Apple TV and streaming service, Apple has let others get out ahead.

    Apple doesn’t need to be first. They need to perfect it as much as possible.
    StrangeDayscornchipmwhitecharlesatlastoysandmemac_dogAppleExposedbeowulfschmidtlolliver
  • Reply 8 of 57
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,458member
    davgreg said:
    The VW ID Buzz will be in full production and for sale before Apple gets out of the garage. Already approved for production in Germany and the US plant in Chattanooga.

    https://media.vw.com/models/id-buzz

    Just like with the Apple TV and streaming service, Apple has let others get out ahead.

    The ID Buzz is a consumer vehicle.

    What makes you think that Apple isn't building a commercial vehicle which will be used for long term ride sharing service and delivery designed around easy maintenance and repair?



    sphericAppleExposedlolliver
  • Reply 9 of 57
    Makes sense.

    While people love to ooh and ahh over high performance vehicles the fact is we still need to move people around efficiently. And a multi-passenger vehicle (van, if you will) is far better at that task, even if it’s not sexy.
    lolliverradarthekat
  • Reply 10 of 57
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,985member
    Taxis, minibusses, all excellent markets for AI.  School buses could be a good market for AI too, far safer.  I've rarely followed one not going well over the speed limit!
  • Reply 11 of 57
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,985member
    tmay said:
    davgreg said:
    The VW ID Buzz will be in full production and for sale before Apple gets out of the garage. Already approved for production in Germany and the US plant in Chattanooga.

    https://media.vw.com/models/id-buzz

    Just like with the Apple TV and streaming service, Apple has let others get out ahead.

    The ID Buzz is a consumer vehicle.

    What makes you think that Apple isn't building a commercial vehicle which will be used for long term ride sharing service and delivery designed around easy maintenance and repair?



    Hey, maybe they'd lease some to Amazon!  ;)
  • Reply 12 of 57
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,733member
    Isn't this basically the same as the whispering a few months back that it'd be a shuttle bus for Apple employees between Apple Park and [other location]?
    tmay
  • Reply 13 of 57
    davgreg said:
    The VW ID Buzz will be in full production and for sale before Apple gets out of the garage. Already approved for production in Germany and the US plant in Chattanooga.

    https://media.vw.com/models/id-buzz

    Just like with the Apple TV and streaming service, Apple has let others get out ahead.

    Apple doesn’t need to be first. They need to perfect it as much as possible.
    Yeah I blocked that guy long as he doesn’t get Apple whatsoever. A race to first? Please. 
    cornchipAppleExposedlolliverradarthekatpatchythepirate
  • Reply 14 of 57
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,452member
    Anyone who lives in the northeast would you want a car drive you around which was trained on California roads? I'll give you a hint, would you get in any car with a person who never seen snow and let them drive you during the storm we just had.

    The van Idea make sense since it give more room for batteries and allows the sensor to have higher vantage point. 

    When I tough my kids to drive one things I taught them was not to always watch the car in front of them but the cars 10 in front as well as the cars behind. I have avoided more accidents because I saw brake lights way ahead and began slowing long before the car in front of me even tapped their brakes, this also allowed the cars behind me to begin slowing so we all did not have to panic stop. This is call offensive driving which most drivers do not do and think about the people programing theses system, what view of driving do they follow.
    edited February 21 boltsfan17AppleExposed
  • Reply 15 of 57
    davgreg said:
    The VW ID Buzz will be in full production and for sale before Apple gets out of the garage. Already approved for production in Germany and the US plant in Chattanooga.

    https://media.vw.com/models/id-buzz

    Just like with the Apple TV and streaming service, Apple has let others get out ahead.

    Apple doesn’t need to be first. They need to perfect it as much as possible.
    Yeah I blocked that guy long as he doesn’t get Apple whatsoever. A race to first? Please. 
    Good idea.
  • Reply 16 of 57
    I'd put my money on the van being a test mule for Apple's tech.  A test mule that gives no clue to Apple's true vehicle design (if they're actually designing a vehicle and not autonomous software).  Car companies are known for using test mules to R&D tech.  Vans, re-bodied older models, and other assorted vehicles so competitors don't get an idea of what the new product will be.  
    13485
  • Reply 17 of 57
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,985member
    Folio said:
    One California option has no seats. Just bed and surf board rack

  • Reply 18 of 57
    maestro64 said:
    Anyone who lives in the northeast would you want a car drive you around which was trained on California roads? I'll give you a hint, would you get in any car with a person who never seen snow and let them drive you during the storm we just had.

    The van Idea make sense since it give more room for batteries and allows the sensor to have higher vantage point. 

    When I tough my kids to drive one things I taught them was not to always watch the car in front of them but the cars 10 in front as well as the cars behind. I have avoided more accidents because I saw brake lights way ahead and began slowing long before the car in front of me even tapped their brakes, this also allowed the cars behind me to begin slowing so we all did not have to panic stop. This is call offensive driving which most drivers do not do and think about the people programing theses system, what view of driving do they follow.
    Self driving cars and snow is one thing I've always wondered about. How are self driving vehicles going to handle snow? If you start sliding and a self driving car hits the brakes hard, it's just going to make things worse. It sounds like you drive the same way as me. When I'm driving in the snow, I let off the gas way ahead of time at a light or when cars are stopped. I try avoiding using the brakes as much as possible. 
  • Reply 19 of 57
    maestro64 said:
    Anyone who lives in the northeast would you want a car drive you around which was trained on California roads? I'll give you a hint, would you get in any car with a person who never seen snow and let them drive you during the storm we just had.

    The van Idea make sense since it give more room for batteries and allows the sensor to have higher vantage point. 

    When I tough my kids to drive one things I taught them was not to always watch the car in front of them but the cars 10 in front as well as the cars behind. I have avoided more accidents because I saw brake lights way ahead and began slowing long before the car in front of me even tapped their brakes, this also allowed the cars behind me to begin slowing so we all did not have to panic stop. This is call offensive driving which most drivers do not do and think about the people programing theses system, what view of driving do they follow.
    I believe it's called defensive driving but I could be wrong. 

    With regards to where the cars are being trained  - they start out somewhere nice and dry and flat and straight then launch there, as we've seen with Waymo. Once they are confident that they are ready to test in more difficult conditions, they'll do that. There's no chance they will just launch in the NE having trained only in Cali or Arizona.
    toysandmeAppleExposedradarthekat
  • Reply 20 of 57
    tmay said:
    The ID Buzz is a consumer vehicle.

    What makes you think that Apple isn't building a commercial vehicle which will be used for long term ride sharing service and delivery designed around easy maintenance and repair?



    Actually, the ID Buzz will be built in 2 versions- a passenger van built in the US and a commercial version to be built in Hanover Germany. Do not forget that VW owns Porsche and Audi- it has considerable engineering resources and is pouring lots of money into electrics now that Diesel will be going away in much of the world.
    edited February 21 caladanianradarthekat
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