Apple is reportedly planning to install its self-driving technologies in shuttles that will be used to ferry its employees to its campuses.
The software and tech company is reportedly working on the shuttle project which has been named “PAIL” as an acronym for Palo Alto to Infinite Loop. The project will work towards fitting Apple’s self-driving technology into a van from an automotive manufacturer. The company has not confirmed which manufacturer will provide the van. Previous rumors had suggested that Apple was working towards making its own vehicles but the company has shifted from that plan to purely dealing with autonomous driving software.
Apple has been using Lexus vehicles to test its self-driving technology and some of those vehicles were spotted in the streets earlier this year. The iPhone maker plans to let its employees be the first to experience its own self-driving technology. The firm has more than 5,000 workers in Silicon Valley that use the vans or shuttles it provides to travel to and from work.
“We see that those smaller ambitions have a new waypoint: a self-driving shuttle to ferry employees between Apple’s current campus and the new one,” stated Daisuke Wakabayashi in a New York Times report.
Apple is not the only firm to abandon its efforts to make its own vehicle and instead focus on making self-driving technology. Alphabet’s division Waymo has also been working on developing autonomous vehicle technology. This makes sense since these companies would have to invest heavily into making their own vehicles. Also, the automotive industry already has a lot of players and some of those companies such as Tesla already have their own autonomous technology.
Dialing down from wanting to make its own vehicles was a safe and smart move for Apple. More the past two years have been characterized by rapid development of new technologies and the major tech companies such as Apple and Alphabet have been jumping on these opportunities. Apple is still working on improving its technology and there has been speculation that the company will seek deals with vehicle manufacturers to fit the technologies in vehicles once it is ready.