Since the first results were known, Apple’s autonomous driving project, has always seemed quite unstable, due to government controls and the optimization of this technology. As it has recently become known, this scenario of bad development, especially in 2019, could be concluded by the closure of the project.
As Appleinsider reports this week, the Apple Car’s autonomous vehicle testing program experienced a significant reduction in 2019, with its fleet driving 72,201 miles less than in 2018. There also appears to have been a change in the disconnect report protocol, information commonly used to measure system effectiveness.
The above conclusions result from the analysis made on the figures sent by Apple to the California Department of Motor Vehicles , which make clear that 23 of the 69 registered autonomous driving test benches of the company were active between December 2018 and November 2019. Overall, the Lexus RX450h modified SUV fleet logged 7,544 miles during the reporting period, down from 79,754 miles in 2018.
In the environment of this type of test, disconnections are defined as instances where the autonomous systems of a stand-alone vehicle cannot process the current conditions, forcing it to return control to the human driver . According to the numbers compiled by CNET, the Baidu firm led the pack in 2019 with 0.06 disconnections per 1,000 miles, followed by Waymo and Cruise, which achieved 0.08 disconnections while Toyota reported the highest rate of disconnections with 1,620.
To date and given the current behavior of the studies, it is unknown whether the Apple Car project or Project Titan as the development of autonomous driving technology was originally called, will see the light at some point or will leave the Apple roadmap.