Apple Car is still possible even though Apple has laid off 190 workers in its self-driving car division. Reuters recently reported about Apple looking for suppliers for revolutionary LIDAR sensor design.
Autonomous cars use LIDar (Light Detection and Ranging) to observe and see the world around.
However, the current LIDAR tech is heavy and aesthetically non-pleasing which goes against Apple’s design policy.
Apple is looking for suppliers that can deliver LIDAR sensors that could fit in compact space complementing the aesthetics of its upcoming Apple Car while scanning the environment.
In due time Apple is not waiting for others and itself developing their own LIDAR tech. If Apple is able to develop then they don’t need to pay hundreds of thousands of dollar to other manufacturers.
Currently, all its 66 driverless cars use the preception stack (LIDAR sensor array) from Velodyne which can cost more than $100,000. The sensors are also very heavy and use mechanical parts which make them prone to failure.
Apple Car and Project Titan
Tim Cook in a 2017 interview told Bloomberg that autonomy holds an exciting future for the company. After some time news came out about the autonomous car project called Titan.
BBC also reported that Apple has registered 66 driverless cars and 111 people to drive and monitor these cars on the road.
It is still unclear what Apple will manufacture the car or the system which will be shipped on other vehicles. One person familiar with the matter claimed that Apple might only design the autonomous system.
The recent hiring of a chief engineer at Tesla suggests that Apple is working hard and fast to push the car in the market as soon as possible.
Release Date of Apple Car
There is no clear indication about the release date of the Apple Car. It is possible that Apple might junk the plan at all. However, Insurance Journal reports that the Apple Car would cost around $150,000 in 2025.