Apple plans to produce an autonomous vehicle by 2024, as reported Reuters. The company is working on producing a car that could include its own battery development technology.
This initiative of the computer giant to produce its own autonomous car is known as Project Titan and has been prepared since 2014, although many details about it have never been known.
Apple has been working on driverless car technology since 2014, but has reduced its ambitions from developing a vehicle from scratch in 2017, it reported. Bloomberg . Since then, Apple has been working on the basic standalone system.
At one point, Apple gave up the effort to focus on software and reevaluated its goals.. Doug Field, who worked at Tesla, returned to the company to oversee the project in 2018 and fired 190 people from the team a year later.
Since then, Apple has made enough progress to be able to pursue the construction of a vehicle for consumers, said two people familiar with the project, who asked not to be identified because the plans are not public.
Earlier this month, Apple handed over control of its autonomous car project to John Giannandrea, the company’s director of artificial intelligence, as reported The Verge.
Apple’s goal of making vehicles for the mass market is in contrast to rivals such as Alphabet’s Waymo, which has built robotic taxis to transport passengers for autonomous car service.
A central element of Apple’s strategy is a new battery design that could “radically” reduce its cost. and increases the autonomy of the vehicle, according to a person who saw the projects. The company declined to comment on its future plans or products.
Building a vehicle is a supply chain challenge even for Apple, a wealthy company that produces hundreds of millions of electronics each year from parts around the world, but has never produced a car. Tesla, Elon Musk’s company, lasted 17 years before finally turning into profitable cars.
“If there’s one company on the planet that has the resources to do that, it’s probably Apple. But at the same time, it is not a mobile phone “, said a person who worked at Project Titan.
Apple uses external partners for system elements, including Lidar sensors that allow autonomous cars to have a three-dimensional view of the world in real time. In turn, Apple is also developing its own Lidar technology.
It is not clear who would assemble a car from the bitten apple, but sources quoted by Reuters believe that the company would have partnered with another company to build vehicles.
In turn, two people familiar with Apple’s plans have warned that pandemic delays could see production begin only in 2025 or even later.
It should be noted that the autonomous car industry continues to grow and new players join. A few days ago, Amazon introduced its first robot taxi or “robotaxi”, meaning a driverless vehicle to carry passengers. It’s a development of Zoox, an autonomous vehicle start-up that Jeff Bezos’ company acquired in June this year.
The car is electric and has space for up to four passengers. There is no driver’s seat or steering wheel, as it is 100% autonomous. According to the company, this system ensures safe autonomous driving in densely populated urban centers. The exact date when Zoox will start providing passenger transfer services has not yet been announced.
(With information from Reuters and Bloomberg)
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