Apple Accelerates Work on Car Project, Aiming for Fully Autonomous Vehicle

Apple is pushing to accelerate development of its electric car and is refocusing the project around full self-driving capabilities, Bloomberg News reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter, aiming to solve a technical challenge that has bedeviled the auto industry. From the report: For the past several years, Apple's car team had explored two simultaneous paths: creating a model with limited self-driving capabilities focused on steering and acceleration -- similar to many current cars -- or a version with full self-driving ability that doesn't require human intervention. Under the effort's new leader -- Apple Watch software executive Kevin Lynch -- engineers are now concentrating on the second option. Lynch is pushing for a car with a full self-driving system in the first version, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. It's just the latest shift for the car effort, known as the Special Projects Group or "Project Titan," which has endured strategy changes and executive turnover since starting around 2014. In September, the former head of the team, Doug Field, left for a job at Ford Motor after three years in charge. In picking Lynch as his replacement, Apple went with an internal executive who isn't a car veteran. In trying to master self-driving cars, Apple is chasing a holy grail within the industry. Tech and auto giants have spent years on autonomous vehicles, but the capabilities have remained elusive.

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