Remember that self-driving car Apple was said to be working on? Dead. But that doesn’t mean the company isn’t still working on the software that will make self-driving cars a thing.
Project Titan–Apple’s car project–has apparently morphed into a new initiative that’s taking shape in Kanata, Ontario, a brisk five-minute walk from the HQ of QNX, the automotive software division of BlackBerry.
QNX writes the software that allows your current car’s infotainment to talk to the vehicle. You never see it or interact with, but it’s what’s make the whole thing work. From Engadget:
While QNX is best known for building in-car entertainment systems, the company started making software for autonomous vehicles in the past year. Former QNX CEO Dan Dodge was actually hired to run Project Titan earlier this year, but as one executive told Bloomberg, more than two dozen former BlackBerry engineers are now commuting to Apple’s Kanata office to build its car platform instead — which must sting a little bit now that BlackBerry has finally bowed out of the smartphone wars.
Since Apple doesn’t have a real world vehicle to build, the company is said to be testing its self-driving platform using VR simulations built in-house by a separate Project Titan team led by VR/AR expert Doug Bowman. While those are a lot of high-profile hires in the past year, the Titan team was hit with a big round of layoffs during its restructuring last month and those that are left are still working to deliver a viable self-driving solution under a hard deadline of late 2017.
Fascinating. Let’s see what comes out of this.