Apple has long been rumored to be looking to get into the self-driving car game. Along with these rumors were those that Apple would team up with BMW to make such self-driving cars.For a long time, these rumors seemed like just that — rumors. Now, though, it’s being reported that Apple was, indeed, serious about autonomous cars but it isn’t going to be partnering with BMW. Instead, Apple has signed with Volkswagen.
According to the New York Times, BMW and Mercedes-Benz were both in talks with Apple to develop autonomous car software and technology, after the Cupertino-based brand decided against developing its own car entirely. However, both BMW and Mercedes had reportedly ended their plans, after Apple requested control over data and design.
Apparently, Volkswagen was okay with that and now Apple is working on some Volkswagen T6 Transporter vans as its guinea pigs for autonomous testing. These vans will act as self-driving shuttles for Apple employees, even though the project is behind schedule.
There are also some more cracks showing in this project’s foundation, as former Apple employees have claimed the plan lacks any sort of long-term vision after developing the vans. Because of this lack of vision, structure and direction, the project is said to be coming off the rails a bit. There’s ambition, of that there’s no doubt, but that ambition seemingly lacks focus, unfortunately. According to these former employees, Apple had hired some of the best minds in various industries and came up with some really interesting ideas, such as configurable window tint and augmented reality windshields.
It seemed almost like a guaranteed match for Apple and BMW, as the two brands seemed to be on the cusp of partnership. However, the famous iPhone maker has now singed with Volkswagen. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.