‘NYT’: no ‘Apple Car” is coming soon, but a self-driving campus shuttle is in the works

Haven’t we known this for awhile? Apple is scaling back plans to build actual self-driving cars, and will instead focus on creating autonomous systems, according to The New York Times.

Why? shifting priorities, unrealistic deadlines and lack of a clear vision for the end product. However, the NYT says Apple is focusing on a self-driving campus shuttle called PAIL — short for "Palo Alto to Infinite Loop.” It will likely be a commercial vehicle from an automaker and Apple will use it to test the autonomous driving technology that it develops.

Apple Shuttle.jpg

As the Sellers Research Group (that’s me) has long said, I don't think that Apple will actually build its own automobiles, but will work with other manufactures to implement technologies such as enhanced CarPlay into their vehicles. Of course, if PAIL works really well, Apple could start making its own vehicles at some point in the future.  

However, that’s an awfully big and expensive undertaking, even for the world's most influential, successful company. It could easily consume the company’s resources. What if, instead, Apple stung off a design business to help auto companies? And worked to build autonomous software rather than an entire vehicle?