Apple has so far not commented on its plans. (File Photo)
After manufacturing smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets, Apple has decided to foray into the self-driving car industry. According to a Reuters report, the technology giant is targeting its launch by 2024. The report said that it is most likely the passenger car of the company will be powered by its own battery technology. This will be done under ‘Project Titan’ – the name given to its auto project. The company has been unevenly working on the project since 2014. After starting to design its own vehicle several years ago, Apple pulled itself back and shifted focus on software and re-evaluated its goals. Later in 2018, Apple veteran Doug Field, who worked at Tesla, returned to oversee the project. A year later, he laid off around 190 people from the team.
People familiar with ‘Project Titan’ said that the company has progressed enough and now it is planning to build a car for consumers. This is in sharp contrast with rivals like Alphabet’s Waymo which is building a driverless ride-hailing service.
The self-driving car of Apple will have a new battery design that will increase the range of the vehicle along with ‘radically’ reducing the cost of the battery. People privy to the development said that the company is planning to use a ‘mono cell’ design. The design will help it pack more active material inside a battery that in turn will provide a longer range.
Terming the battery technology ‘next level,’ sources who worked with the project said that it would just like holding an iPhone for the first time. As doing all this will involve a lot of money, they said that there’s only Apple that has enough resources to do it.
The car is expected to have multiple lidar sensors, which are most likely to be provided by outside partners, to help the car scan different distances. Sources, however, said that some of them could be internally developed lidar. Apple has so far not commented on its plans.
Even though Apple is eyeing 2024, the report also points out that the ongoing pandemic situation may push the production into 2025 or beyond.