Apple Self-Driving Car, Apple Seeks Revolutionary Design Lidar Sensors Suppliers For Electric Vehicle

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, says farewell at the end of an Apple special event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, says farewell at the end of an Apple special event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, U.S., March 25, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Stephen Lam)

Apple is reportedly seeking potential suppliers of Lidar sensors with a revolutionary design for its alleged self-driving car plans.

Apple has been spotted seeing various potential car parts suppliers of Lidar sensors, a type of sensor that captures a three-dimensional road look. The tech giant is reported to be specifically looking for a sensor with a revolutionary design.

The report is allegedly a part of the Project Titan, Apple's move to invade the self-driving car industry. Reports from three people with the knowledge on the details said that the Cupertino giant wants the Lidar sensors that can be able to see several meters down the road. Such kind of distance leads to rumors that it is aiming to build a fully self-driving vehicle.

One of the sources specified that Apple's invasion of the autonomous mobile industry is not just to come up with the present fad but to bring driving to the next level, the revolutionary design. This could be a sign of the Cupertino based company stepping into developing an entire chain of autonomous vehicle hardware.

Apple allegedly seeks the next generation of smaller and cheaper lidar sensors unlike the current ones in the market that they describe as not ideal for mass production as they are more prone to failure and too bulky as well. Such a lidar system costs more than $100,000.

Sources still have unclear information if Apple's effort to find a revolutionary Lidar sensor could mean the company's interest in being the self-driving cars' hardware and software supplier. Project Titan might also walk along the path of building its own self-driving vehicle.

Aside from the evaluation process that the company is doing through seeing different sensor suppliers, Apple currently has its own line of lidar sensors in process. This could also implicate that the company is interested in controlling the perception stack of autonomous vehicles.

Another convincing proof that Apple is on its way to entering the electric vehicle industry is its move of increasing its California testing miles. Apple's testing covered only 800 miles in 2017 and increased to 80,000 miles in 2018.

Apple noticeably reorganized their manpower late last year giving more weight to the speculations of the tech giant's entry to the self-driving car industry. The tech giant brought in significant names to work on Project Titan namely Doug Field, engineering chief from Tesla and an Apple veteran as well and Michael Schwekutsch who worked on the Tesla electric drive train.

Apple did not confirm or deny the reports about the company's self-driving car industry invasion. Apple customers hoping for the slef-driving car to materialize may have to stay tuned for the next updates.

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