Apple Backpedals on Self-Driving Car Operations

October 18, 2016 - 2 minutes read

According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple is scaling back their plan to manufacture smart cars top-to-bottom similar to Tesla. Instead, the market-leading tech company and mobile app platform will focus on the software business they’re more known for, potentially building out software systems to be incorporated into vehicles from other manufacturers.

The main source of the shift comes from the mass-scale reassignment and letting go of employees previously engaged with their automotive endeavors. Additionally, Apple employees cited by Bloomberg claim that new hiring is underway to support the project (which used to be dramatically titled Project Titan) as it transitions towards a more software-based collaborative goal.

This move may sound like a setback to investors, but it actually makes a lot of sense to Chicago app developers. Apple is ultimately in the app development business, and their smartphone sales almost serve as an enabler to their massive annual software revenue, with the whole company structured more like an app development company than a hardware tech manufacturer.

Considering the slim margins even traditional automotive manufacturers pull (usually less than 10%), some investors were even actively worried that the company was venturing so deep into hardware, especially in pursuit of a product that’s already lost its lead to Tesla and the like.

Predicting how the self-driving car concept will play out in the next ten years is tricky, but one thing is for certain: software has never been more important to the automotive industry, and mobile app developers will play a key part in producing the transportation of the future.

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