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Apple Entering the Autonomous Car Race with Project Titan

Written By, Jordan R.

Autonomous cars are all the rage being talked about in the auto industry these days. How can we make automobiles safer? More convenient? What if more could be done automatically? It started with Google, but now even big names like Apple are getting in on the game.

When Google first debuted the Google car, it was an amazing sight. They even shot a video that went viral back in 2012 where they invited a blind man to drive their car. His driving destination? Taco Bell. Simple, yet it must have meant the world for him to be able to drive and grab a favorite snack. That’s what Google’s doing.

The Google car works via a combination of many of the technologies we have today. GPS navigation using Google Maps to get around plus Google World, advanced safety systems like forward collision warning and automatic braking, and other technologies being introduced on a regular basis. The possibility spawned a couple of clones, including the UberX.

UberX is is a self-driving Uber vehicle. Nearly two years ago, Uber set up an Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh to develop the UberX, and currently that’s where it’s making a lot of headway. Of course, like Google, they need to do a lot of testing before popping champagne, and now we have a new competitor joining the autonomous car game.

Apple is the newest competitor designing an autonomous car concept known as Project Titan, an electric autonomous car. Apple is notorious for being secretive, and Apple refuses to confirm or reject knowledge about Project Titan, but here’s what we know so far:  

  • Apple’s Chief Executive, Tim Cook, has met with Fiat-Chrysler CEO, Sergio Marchionne (Chrysler recently partnered up with Google for autonomous vehicle development)
  • Tim Cook is said to have toured the BMW’s i3 electric car assembly line
  • Automotive experts from Silicon Valley and other high tech areas have been recruited by Apple. Engineers from Tesla Motors and Mercedes-Benz, and power experts from electric car battery maker A123 Systems have also joined the flock.
  • Most notably, Apple engineer, Frank Fearon, approached GoMentum Station with a request of the layout and testing grounds. GoMentum is an old Concord naval base not far from San Francisco. It is 2,100 acres large and was recently turned into a high-security testing facility for autonomous vehicles. What was once a naval weapons station is now 20 miles of paved highways and city streets. It’s all kept behind barbed-wire fences and military guards. Needless to say, it’s where the automakers go to test something they want to keep hush-hush.

The perfect place for Apple to test their own self-driving electric car, Project Titan, wouldn’t you say? We’ll find out soon enough as the autonomous car race continues.

Photo Source/Copyright: carwow.co.uk

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