According to a new report from The New York Times, Apple has signed a deal with Volkswagen to build self-driving cars.
The autonomous vehicles will reportedly be used as a shuttle for employees around its various campuses in San Francisco. Apple has been reportedly working on a shuttle program, called “PAIL” (Palo Alto to Infinite Loop), since last summer. The deal will see T6 Transporter vans from Volkswagen turned into self-driving shuttles for employees to use.
Apple’s self-driving car team is reportedly behind schedule and lacking engineering resources. Over the past few years, Apple has been looking to make deals with automotive manufacturers, like BMW and Mercedes Benz, for self-driving cars.
The report notes that these deals all fell through because Apple was asking for complete control of the data and design, which is something that these car manufacturers were not willing to give up.
After these deals fell through, Apple began their transition to focus on autonomous driving software. The company is currently working on its own shuttle program with several Lexus SUVs equipped with cameras and other self-driving hardware.
Beyond the shuttle program, it is still not clear as to what Apple will do with their autonomous driving initiative.