Apple has been working with a South Korean company to develop an autopilot processor for its long-rumored Apple Car, according to a new report. It was recently reported that the tech giant was looking to select South Korean car parts suppliers that would help it produce an electric self-driving vehicle. However, today’s report suggests Apple has already been working with one for almost a year and the module is expected to be completed in 2023.
Apple working with new Apple Car partner to develop self-driving tech
According to a new report by The Elec, Apple has been working on an autopilot chip for Apple Car with the help of an OSAT (outsourced semiconductor assembly and test) company. Sources told the publication that the project began in 2021 and is expected to be completed in 2023.
Outsourcing to an OSAT firm is done by companies seeking expertise in the assembly of semiconductors and related technology. The Elec says Apple also worked with South Korean companies when it was developing the M1 processer ahead of its launch in 2020. However, there is no evidence to back that claim.
Sources told the publication that the South Korean OSAT firm was working on a chip that operates the autopilot function, similar to how Tesla created its autopilot functionality. The report also notes that the project is being handled by Apple’s regional offices in South Korea.
Such chips, which oversee AI computations, usually integrate a neural processing unit, CPU, GPU, memory as well as camera interface among other functions.
Renowned TF Securities analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo has previously reported that Apple Car will be launched by 2025 at the earliest because organizing the supply chain, development, and manufacturing of an automobile is far more complex than an iPhone or iPad. Therefore, it will take the tech giant a considerable amount of time to perfect and launch its first autonomous vehicle. He has also detailed that the vehicle would offer 80% charge in 18 minutes, 260kmph, over 500km range, and more.
This was corroborated by a report from Bloomberg which suggested that Apple is looking to launch its ambitious level 5 autonomous EV by 2025. Additionally, analysts at investment bank Morgan Stanley believe it is unlikely an Apple Car will be bought by single consumers, instead, it will likely be a shared vehicle as a subscription or transport utility.