For those dreaming of having robo-chauffeurs in the near future from Apple, there apparently has been another setback as the tech giant announced plans to scale back on its plans to develop self-driving cars. According to a report by the New York Times, Apple is choosing instead to focus more on developing software and other technologies for self-driving (AKA autonomous) vehicles.
In June, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook told Bloomberg News the company was “focusing on autonomous systems,” but didn’t really elaborate on it. The Times said Apple’s decision to pivot direction after years of work on the so-called “Project Titan” came after experiencing complications resulting from the overwhelming size of the self-driving car project, as well as a lack of a clear vision for the end product.
The announcement is something that, while disappointing, is also rather refreshing, especially coming from a tech company that has made several poor decisions in the years following the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. One recent example is the headphone jack debacle of the iPhone 7, not to mention “Bendgate,” and the underwhelming iPhone 6. Apple stock doesn’t disagree either, as the stock for the company has consistently gone down in the last four years.
So, maybe the question to ask now is: Are we witnessing the beginning of a turnaround for the tech giant in showing some restraint? In a time where the world has seen nearly an iEverything, is Apple finally asking itself: “Should we, really?”
Perhaps the company is taking a que from Jeff Goldblum ‘s character, Ian Malcolm, in Jurassic Park. After years of asking themselves if they could, they are now asking themselves if they even should. In regard to public safety issues with self-driving cars, holding off on an iCar would appear to be a smart decision in this uncertain time for the smart-car market.