Apple may no longer be developing its own self-driving car, but it appears to be working with Bosch on autonomous car tech.
Apple has long been rumored to be jumping on the autonomous car bandwagon, and while plans to develop its own self-driving car known as "Project Titan" were halted last year, Automotive News reports that new evidence has emerged implying that the company is still developing autonomous car technology. Documents released by Apple in February showed a list of suppliers it's working with, including Robert Bosch. Specifically, Apple lists Bosch's office in Reutlingen, Germany, where the firm's automotive electronics division is based.
While Apple predictably refused to comment, a spokesperson from Bosch confirmed that the company is working with Apple as a supplier, but didn't go into specifics. At this stage, it's difficult to speculate the extent of Apple and Bosch's partnership, but the documents suggest that it could be automotive-related, particularly as Bosch's Reutlingen office develops components for vehicle sensors and electronic control units, which power braking, steering and other vehicle systems. Apple's potential partnership with Bosch to develop self-driving technology follows its recent public comment last year on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's autonomous vehicle guidelines.
"The company is investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation," it said at the time. The comment reignited speculation about Apple's self-driving project after it reportedly laid off dozens of engineers working on the project last year. A collaboration with Bosch would make sense, as Apple has previously suggested it wants to develop sensors and software for autonomous driving rather than build its own self-driving car. Apple also already made a mark in the auto industry thanks to its CarPlay system which regularly features in infotainment systems.