Dan Dodge, the founder and former chief executive officer of QNX, the operating system developer that BlackBerry acquired in 2010, joined Apple earlier this year, the people said. He is part of a team headed by Bob Mansfield, who, since taking over leadership of the cars initiative – dubbed Project Titan – has heralded a shift in strategy, according to a person familiar with the plan.
The initiative is now prioritizing the development of an autonomous driving system, though it’s not abandoning efforts to design its own vehicle. That leaves options open should the company eventually decide to partner with or acquire an established car maker, rather than build a car itself. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
This whole thing of Apple designing, building, and selling a car still seems so extreme to me – it feels like jumping the shark, really – but at the same time, it could just as well be the genius move that prolongs Apple’s winning streak for decades to come. I have far too little insight into the car industry to say anything meaningful here, but it does fascinate me that a technology company like Apple is presumably entering the car market.
The car industry has never been profitable. Every car maker relies on some form of direct or indirect subsidy.
I have friend who is an aerospace engineer with a PhD in computer vision. She told me that truly autonomous cars are at least 30-40 years away.
There already seems to be a major problem of the marketers getting too far head of the technology and promoting immature emergency safety systems as automated driving. I read a recent test where the autonomous lane change system tried to drive the car directly into a concrete barrier wall at 100 km/h.