Bloomberg reports that Apple Car development is progressing as the Cupertino tech giant is in talks with several suppliers for self-driving LiDAR sensors. Apple introduced LiDAR scanners in the 2020 iPad Pro and iPhone 12 Pro models. However, the report claims that the company is looking for “outside” vendors for its autonomous electronic vehicle.
With the ability to measure the distance to surrounding objects, the LiDAR scanner “works both indoors and outdoors, and operates at the photon level at nano-second speeds” for great photography on iPhone 12 Pro models and Augmented Reality experience on the smartphone and that tablet. However, the aforementioned technology will be used for a different purpose in Apple Car.
Apple in search for LiDAR sensor suppliers for Apple Car
The report details that the LiDAR sensor in Apple Car will be used to detect objects to map out the surrounding for autonomous driving.
“The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is in active talks with a number of potential suppliers for these laser-based sensors that allow a car’s computer to “see” its surroundings, said the people, who asked not to be identified due to the private nature of the discussions. The company has been working on a driverless vehicle project for several years and has developed on its own most of the necessary software, underlying processors and artificial intelligence algorithms needed for such a sophisticated system.”
This claim is corroborated by a previous report which stated that Apple’s electronic passenger vehicle will be powered by a revolutionary battery electronic passenger vehicle and LiDAR scanners. Four new patent filings reveal that the Cupertino tech giant is working on the development of a new air-bags-based safety system, integrated chassis control, dynamic element protection, and augmented reality display. Having said that, the report mentions that the launch of an Apple electronic car is years away as the company is currently streamlining its supply chain and still looking for vendors.
As it’s done with the iPhone, Apple is looking to outside vendors to supply critical hardware for a planned autonomous vehicle, the people said. The ongoing discussions are a sign that Apple has yet to settle on a preferred supplier for lidar and that it’s likely mulling a range of options, including a heavily customized version of the sensors, as it moves toward developing a car design. That’s an indication that a finished product is still several years away.