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Apple Releases More Hints About its Driverless Program

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【Summary】In a recently published list of suppliers, Apple inadvertently confirmed that it has partnered with Robert Bosch.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Apr 04, 2017 3:30 PM PT
Apple Releases More Hints About its Driverless Program

It's been a few months since we've heard any details about Apple's move into the automotive segment, with rumors pointing towards the Apple Car being deceased. Previous reports indicated that after running into numerous problems, the technology company was planning on moving towards developing software for self-driving cars and not driverless vehicles themselves. 

According to a new report from Automotive News, Apple's autonomous vehicle program may not be dead after all.  

Hidden In Secrecy

Last month, Apple, as Automotive News points out, published a list of suppliers that it is working with. An interesting name that appears on the list is Robert Bosch GmbH, a German engineering and electronics company that also happens to be one of the world's largest automotive suppliers. 

The published list of suppliers names Bosch's headquarters as the one in Reutlingen, Germany, which is the location where the supplier houses its automotive electronics division, reports Automotive News. The partnership between the two would obviously center on some sort of automotive program. With access to Bosch's extensive amount of automotive know-how, Apple could jump-start its driverless program. 

According to the report, Apple declined to comment on the partnership, as the technology company tends to do. A Bosch spokesman, though, confirmed that the automotive supply company was working with Apple, but didn't provide any specific details on the alliance. 

Automotive News did some more digging and found that Bosch's Reutlingen headquarters focuses on various automotive components like car sensors and electronic control units. But the facility is also in charge of some non-automotive parts, as well, including sensors for consumer electronics devices. 

A Troubled Past

As stated earlier, a lot has changed over the past few years with Apple's autonomous program. The technology company hired some brilliant minds and lost a few, like its self-driving and computer vision expert to Faraday Future. Apple then named its secret program, Project Titan, and set a lofty goal of having a vehicle out by 2019. 

Towards the end of last year, rumors stated that Apple would scale its team back and switch gears to focus on creating a self-driving system instead of an actual vehicle. 

In December, Apple wrote a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, urging the administration to not restrict testing of self-driving vehicles. "The company is investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automatic, and is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation," wrote Steve Kenner, Apple's director of product integrity. 

Since then, not much has come out about the technology company's plans for an autonomous future. If it sounds like Apple is all over the place, it's because the tech-company has been going back and forth. The recent findings indicate that Apple is still working on some sort of tech, whether that includes autonomous brains, self-driving sensors, or an actual car. The next question, is when that tech will be released. 

via: Automotive News

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