Apple enlisted software programmers, automotive engineers, rocket scientists and the industrial-design team of Apple's design chief, Jonathan Ive, to reimagine the vehicle.
The newspaper also reports that Apple approached VW after being "spurned" by BMW and Mercedes-Benz, its No. 1 and No. 2 choices-making the Apple-Volkswagen hookup look like even more desperate.
The New York Times report, however, says that the entire Apple vehicle team seems to be consumed with getting this shuttle service off the ground, and that there are no concrete plans for what comes after.
It seemed nearly like a guaranteed match for Apple and BMW, as the two brands seemed to be on the cusp of partnership.
Initially, Apple had tried to get partners who would supply them with chassis and wheels, but later asked for wholly built cars on top of which the company would retrofit its sensors and use custom software. In early 2017, California regulators authorized Apple to run self-driving tests on public roads with three of the SUVs. The company is believed to have over 50 self-driving cars on the road in California.
Apple signs deal with VW
Apple's on-again-and-off again automotive project, has found a partner, Volkswagen, according to a published report.
After so many years of negotiation, its finally happen.
Apple has reportedly signed a deal with Volkswagen to turn some of the carmaker's new T6 Transporter vans into Apple's self-driving vehicles. Both companies said, "Thanks, but no thanks". Als, o Apple plans on having two operators man for each self-driving shuttle.
While Google publicly rolled out its self-driving vehicle program in measured stages, reports filtered out that the famously secretive Apple had assembled a large team of talent to work on what was called Project Titan, had hired (and poached) high-profile automotive engineers, and pressed its former hardware honcho, Bob Mansfield, into service on its autonomous auto effort.
Late previous year, Apple found a partner in Volkswagen.
They added that the team was now mostly consumed with developing the self-driving shuttle, but the project lacks a clear plan beyond the vans.