The Cupertino tech giant has an Apple Car development division called the Project Titan. Now, Reuters reports that the company is working on an ambitious goal to launch a passenger car by 2024 with “its own breakthrough battery technology.”
Apple launched Project Titan in 2014 with the aim to develop an automobile but later the project pivoted into developing self-driving or autonomous car software by 2016 after experiences issues of leadership, internal rifts, and other production-related problems. However, recently, the news of the alleged Apple Car is circulating again in the industry. In 2018, the company hired Doug Field, a former engineer at Tesla, and now John Giannandrea, Apple’s AI and ML chief is heading project Titan.
People familiar with the project say that “if there is one company on the planet that has the resources to do that, it’s probably Apple” and the company is working on new technology to compete with automobile market rival, Tesla.
Apple Car with new battery technology to launch in 2024
It is detailed that the Apple Car will be powered by a new battery with a “monocell” design that “bulks up the individual cells in the battery and frees up space inside the battery pack by eliminating pouches and modules that hold battery materials. A person familiar with battery design said,
Apple’s design means that more active material can be packed inside the battery, giving the car a potentially longer range. Apple is also examining a chemistry for the battery called LFP, or lithium iron phosphate, which is inherently less likely to overheat and is thus safer than other types of lithium-ion batteries.
In addition, the self-driving Apple Car will use LiDAR sensors for a three-dimensional view of the road. The company might install several LiDAR sensors to efficiently scan distances in the automobile. Currently, Apple has introduced LiDAR sensors in the new iPad Pro and iPhone 12 Pro models to support AR apps and assess depth in photos. Sources tell that Apple has decided to go in partnership with other suppliers for the sensors. This means that the company plans to further expand its global supply chain network.
Previously, DigiTimes reported that Apple’s long-term supplier, TSMC will self-driving chips for Apple Car. The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has produced the new A14 Bionic chip and M1 Apple Silicon for Macs on 5nm technology. Both chipsets are delivering revolutionary high-performance with incredible battery life.
It is worth noting that TSMC has previously reported that it has already deployed Apple Car and has an exclusive R&D plant in Nanke. For example, it cooperates with STMicroelectronics to accelerate the development of gallium nitride (GaN) process technology and will Separate and integrated GaN components are introduced into the market.
The report does not mention whether the company will set up its own manufacturing plant to assemble the alleged Apple Car or will go in partnership with an existing automotive manufacturer like previously petered talks with Magna International Inc. Having said that, Reuters express the concern that as a newcomer volume might be an issue for Apple.
To turn a profit, automotive contract manufacturers often ask for volumes that could pose a challenge even to Apple, which would be a newcomer to the automotive market.
“In order to have a viable assembly plant, you need 100,000 vehicles annually, with more volume to come,” the person said.
The investors agree that to launch an actual Apple Car might not be an easy task even for a company like Apple.
Trip Miller, managing partner at Apple investor Gullane Capital Partners, said it could be tough for Apple to produce large volumes of cars out of the gate.
“It would seem to me that if Apple develops some advanced operating system or battery technology, it would be best utilized in a partnership with an existing manufacturer under license,” Miller said. “As we see with Tesla and the legacy auto companies, having a very complex manufacturing network around the globe doesn’t happen overnight.”
Apple has not commented on the news, as usual, but a lot of reports are indicating that the company is exploring car technology if not making its own car. Recently it is reported that Apple is working on a holographic heads-up display (HUD) to fit into a car and display various information on windows or other surfaces that drivers can see, and a patent filing revealed an intelligent window tinting system to block the sun or for privacy.