Apple's latest foray into autonomous vehicles is a scaled-down version of what was expected to be a self-driving car built from the ground up by the tech giant.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Apple was trying to get ahead of the game, with self-driving car technology just another bullet point to add to its list of cool, high-tech products. This April, a white Lexus with Apple’s self-driving car technology was spotted leaving an Apple facility and driving on the roads just like any other car.
Flash-forward and Apple is back at it again, apparently testing a self-driving shuttle that will ferry employees from different Apple facilities in Palo Alto, Calif., and back to their old headquarters in Cupertino. It’s unclear if these are the only stops that the autonomous vehicle will be making. Apple will be testing this technology out in the open in the South Bay Area.
The shuttle is not operational yet, but is still under development by Apple’s team. According to The New York Times, this will be the latest move by Apple in autonomous car technology since their two-year long “Project Titan” run. Apple ditched the idea of building a car from the ground up and decided to scale back the project.
According to Silicon Beat, over 5,000 Apple employees will utilize Apple’s company buses to get to and from work. Apple even ended up giving almost 200 shuttle drivers a 25 percent wage increase, as well as improved work conditions.
CEO Tim Cook spoke to Bloomberg in June to talk about the autonomous technology, saying, “It’s a core technology that we view as very important.”