Apple signs self-driving car deal with Volkswagen

Volkswagen Transporter Shuttle
Volkswagen Transporter Shuttle

Apple has reportedly penned a deal with Volkswagen that will see the tech giant turn some of the carmaker’s T6 Transporter vans into self-driving shuttles.

According to a report from The New York Times, citing sources, Apple had previously looked to form partnerships with BMW and Mercedes-Benz to develop an all-electric self-driving car, though those talks broke down after both luxury carmakers shot down Apple’s requirements to hand over control of the data and design.

The partnership with Volkswagen will see the T6 Transporter vans used as shuttles for Apple employees, which is said to be taking up nearly all of the Apple car team’s attention due to being behind schedule.

When Apple first setup its car project, plans were to build its own electric autonomous vehicle, spending millions of dollars on research and development, but eventually found that designing and building a car wasn’t so simple. Due to this, Apple decided to shift from building its own vehicle to finding a partner to build one instead.

The shift in plans has led to Apple now settling for fitting existing vehicles with Apple’s sensors and software, hence the agreement with Volkswagen.