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Apple turns to Volkswagen for driverless cars

Apple (AAPL) is nearing to fulfill its dream of creating self-driving cars by joining hands with Volkswagen after being ignored by BMW and Mercedes-Benz. As per the deal, Apple will change Volkswagen’s T6 Transporter vans into autonomous vehicles and these vehicles will be tested by the tech giant’s staffs.

Apple turns to Volkswagen for driverless cars
Picture Courtesy: Flickr.com

According to the New York Times, BMW and Mercedes withdrew from the discussions as Apple liked to keep an upper hand of the data and design, which the carmakers were not interested in. BMW and Mercedes fear that if Apple holds the design and data then the vehicle won’t have their names. After learning from the previous testing, Apple took a step forward by converting existing models into electric driverless vehicles.

Apple is planning to retain the components like chassis, wheels, and frame of the T6 vans. However, the iPhone maker will replace dashboard, seats, and tanks apart from adding software and other components like sensors and an electric car battery.

The project, which has been a laborious one for Apple, passed through various hurdles including the delay in progress. This has axed many employees from the project. Most of the carmakers and those testing on the driverless vehicles, including Apple, Tesla (TSLA), General Motors (GM), and Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google, tend to face the major hurdle of creating algorithms for controlling lane changes.

Apple is nearing to fulfill its dream of creating self-driving cars by joining hands with Volkswagen after being ignored by BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

In addition, the carmakers need to face the people’s fear on the driverless technology. A CarGurus survey showed that 79% are not excited about driverless vehicles – out of which 45% are worried about something going wrong, 59% claimed that they won’t own one in the next decade, and 27% didn’t trust any company to develop this technology.

Most of the carmakers including Ford (F), GM and Fiat Chrysler are expecting their driverless vehicles to hit the road in next five years. With intense competition from Tesla, Uber, Google’s Waymo and others, let’s see whether Apple wins this race.

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