Apple wanted spherical wheels for its autonomous vehicle

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The Times' detailed progress (and some missteps) in Apple's self-driving vehicle ambitions, and one of those which still seems on track is a plan to create an autonomous shuttle to ferry employees from one part of its sprawling campus to another.

We already know, thanks to many leaks and rumors, that Apple hired "hundreds" of engineers dedicated to building an entire autonomous vehicle in a plan dubbed "Project Titan".

Even if Apple had been able to figure everything out, it still would have been faced with the challenge of manufacturing its own vehicle.

In July 2016, the Special Projects team was reorganized under a new leader, Bob Mansfield.

According to the New York Times, the company was forced to curb its ambitions once realizing that the massive scale of the project can not plausibly be continued without some cutbacks.

Instead of building its own, Apple has resolved to simply build tech to facilitate autonomy in auto makers' machines.

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Apple scaling back its plans to build self-driving cars, focusing instead on the software and technology for autonomous vehicles, according to a New York Times report late Tuesday.

Apple is a relatively recent entrant to the field. Employees also reportedly complained of shifting priorities and unrealistic deadlines.

"We are a self-driving technology company", Waymo's incoming chief executive John Krafcik said. "It's a core technology that we view as very important".

Steve Zadesky, an executive who was initially in charge of Titan, wanted to pursue the semiautonomous option. However, there were disagreements on whether CarOS should be programmed using Apple's programming language Swift or with C++.

Even though had not ironed out numerous basics, like how the autonomous systems would work, a team had already started working on an operating system software called CarOS.

According to the source that Business Insider spoke with, Apple is creating its autonomous systems with an eye to the ride-sharing and ride-hailing market but that Apple has no plans at this point to go it alone and try to become the next Uber. Strikingly, most of the issues Apple faced with Project Titan reminds us a lot about similar scenarios Nokia and Palm had a decade ago, who were industry leaders in their products back then. The company's DMV application includes a walkthrough of the Development Platform Specific Training and details about an autonomous-vehicle system called Apple Automated System.