Tech

Apple teams up with Volkswagen to make a fleet of self-driving passenger vans

Business Insider US

Volkswagen Transporter
  • Apple just teamed up with Volkswagen to turn some of the automaker's passenger vans into self-driving vehicles.
  • As part of the partnership announced on Wednesday night, Apple will equip a fleet of Volkswagen T6 Transporter vans into autonomous shuttles for Apple employees.
  • The partnership is seen as bittersweet for Apple. Its automotive initiative has been slow-going, and it has struggled to find partners among high-end brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Apple and Volkswagen are officially in the car business together.

That's according to a multiple news reports published on Wednesday night, which outline some details of Apple's plan to turn some Volkswagen passenger vans into self-driving vehicles.

Apple will equip the German automaker's T6 Transporter van with its own self-driving technology and use a fleet of them as employee shuttles.

The partnership between Apple and Volkswagen is seen by some as bittersweet for the consumer-electronics giant, which had higher hopes for its self-driving car project when it first launched in 2014. Apple has sought partnerships with BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Those endeavours never panned out.

But the deal with Volkswagen could help breathe new life into one part of the project, which, as The New York Times reports, has been middling — mostly due to false starts and employee turnover within the programme.

More broadly, Apple has encountered some formidable competition in the self-driving space, right in its own backyard. Waymo, the autonomous-car unit that Google launched in 2016, is miles ahead by most estimates.

It hasn't been all bad news for Apple's automotive ambitions, though. As of May 9, it had 55 self-driving vehicles on the road in California, according to DMV records.

Receive a single WhatsApp message every morning with all our latest news: Sign up here.

See also:

    Rand - Dollar
    16.57
    -1.3%
    Rand - Pound
    19.76
    +0.2%
    Rand - Euro
    16.98
    +0.4%
    Rand - Aus dollar
    11.21
    +0.1%
    Rand - Yen
    0.12
    -1.3%
    Gold
    1,769.27
    -2.2%
    Silver
    19.21
    -3.9%
    Palladium
    1,927.50
    -0.3%
    Platinum
    863.50
    -2.7%
    Brent Crude
    113.50
    +1.7%
    Top 40
    58,953
    -3.2%
    All Share
    65,006
    -3.0%
    Resource 10
    59,416
    -6.6%
    Industrial 25
    80,333
    -1.1%
    Financial 15
    14,357
    -3.2%
    All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo