Apple Teams up With Volkswagen for Driverless Employee Shuttles

Apple’s dream of producing driverless cars has moved forward, but not in the grand way it once hoped. The iPhone maker and Volkswagen are partnering to turn some of the German carmaker’s new T6 Transporter vans into self-driving shuttles for Apple employees. This comes after other carmakers said no to Apple’s loftier automobile goals, according to The New York Times.

Volkswagen wasn’t Apple’s first choice for a partnership. In fact, it’s safe to say it wasn’t the company’s second or third choice either. In recent years, Apple had discussions with BMW, Mercedes Benz, Lexus, Nissan, and McLaren. Each time, talks broke down after the carmaker decided it wouldn’t give up control to Apple or Cupertino decided to wait, hoping to find a more attractive partner.

Of course, when it was first reported that Apple was developing PAIL, it was suggested that while the passenger shuttles were a priority, so was continuous development of Apple’s self-driving technology. So even if there is a bit of a delay behind-the-scenes, it sounds like it’s still all working towards the same goal.

From the report:
Apple planned to build a single vehicle that would upend society and industry, in what would be the automotive version of the iPhone. The company set to work on an electric driverless car with a lush interior reminiscent of a lounge or living room, where passengers face each other instead of the road, according to two early employees of the project.
For now, the partnership between Apple and Volkswagen doesn’t extend beyond the vans. However, if the collaboration finds success, perhaps the two sides can expand the cooperation in ways more exciting than transport vehicles for employees. 


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