According to a report by Reuters, tech titan Apple is preparing to manufacture a self-driving passenger car and plans to release it by 2024. This news comes amid numerous layoffs hitting the company’s automobile efforts over the last couple of years.
Apple has long been rumored to be working on a car, even before everyone got excited about EVs, and it has been the subject of numerous leaks over the past years. However, over the years, the news just fizzled out, since the efforts by the iPhone manufacturer did not amount to anything. Now it seems the vehicle is back on track and will soon go into production if Reuters’ unnamed sources are correct.
However, due to coronavirus delays, the launch of the vehicle might be pushed back to 2025, according to the aforementioned report.
Project Titan, which is the name given to Apple’s initiative to produce an automobile, was reportedly first approved by CEO Tim Cook six years ago. The EV is part of Apple’s Project Titan, and is being prepared by an internal group focused on automotive and self-driving technologies.
The Reuters sources report that Apple will work with external manufacturers to assemble the vehicle and procure LIDAR sensors, though the battery architecture and autonomous software would be developed in-house. One source further insisted that Apple intends to use its “monocell” battery architecture to achieve a smaller form factor and offer extended range over existing battery technology.
The Apple car is said to possibly feature multiple LIDAR sensors. This technology will be able to build up a in-depth map of the surrounding environment, which will help deal with different distances and proved autonomy. LIDAR sensors are already incorporated in some of Apple’s commercial products like the LIDAR Scanner on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max launched a few months ago.
With its ability to wield power in the manufacturing world thanks to the iPhone, Apple could potentially hit the ground in a way other automotive startups might not be able to accomplish. Still, building cars is hard, and this would be Apple’s first. Thus, it’s fair to say that the road ahead will not be easy for the iPhone manufacturer.