Just after Tim Cook told the press that he is excited about new technologies in the automotive space, and that Apple will continue to move forward to plan for the future, Bloomberg unearthed huge news. According to sources familiar with the matter, Apple has over a dozen former Blackberry QNX employees working on autonomous car software that utilizes augmented reality (AR).
The team is at work in Kanata, Canada, under the direction of ex-Blackberry driving system boss, Dan Dodge. The report says that Siri will be involved in the tech, along with some type of heads-up display and/or other AR. Hands-off technologies are key here.
Further information shows that Apple is already testing the system using virtual reality (VR). This makes it easier for the company to test without a vehicle, and to keep Project Titan under the radar. Blackberry’s CEO, Marty Beard explained of the news:
“We’re in a global world of big technology companies fighting for talent. It’s not surprising.”
Not only is Dan Dodge involved, but also a former QNX chief engineer by the name of Derrick Keefe.
We have heard of Kanata, Canada recently, in connection with Magna. Magna, one of the world’s number one automotive suppliers and contract builders, is said to have about a dozen employees working on Apple’s team. Magna is located in the same area as the newly reported testing.
We know that Tim Cook is very interested in AR these days, and he has even said that it is a “behind the scenes” focal point for Apple’s future. It is also at least partly responsible for the company’s enormous amounts of R&D spending. Cook shared:
“AR can be really great. We have been and continue to invest a lot in this. We are high on AR for the long run, we think there’s great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity. So we’re investing.”
“I think AR is extremely interesting and sort of a core technology. It’s something we’re doing a lot of things on behind that curtain.”