A Toyota executive has said that Apple's rumored electric vehicle would have to address a bunch of important issues over its lifespan, starting with cutting steel, obtaining the materials and mass production, ending with its scrapping decades later.
Rumors are swirling that Apple is seeking partners to help build its autonomous vehicle, and one source has now speculated that The Apple Car predicted to lack a steering wheel.
Revered Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a bunch of previously unknown details concerning Project Titan, Apple's rumored electric vehicle project.
Apple Car rumors have persisted since late 2014, having intensified with a flurry of reports saying Apple held talks with several potential manufacturers lately. Although an Apple Car is unlikely to become a reality before at least 2025, that hasn't stopped fans from dreaming up what an Apple-branded vehicle would feel like. But there's a problem with Apple building a car.
Following a flurry of recent rumors alleging Apple continues to work on an automobile of its own, a credible and reliable analyst has now stepped forward to warn investors that the so-called Apple Car is in early stages of development and unlikely to arrive before, at least, 2025.
Appel Watch assembler Quanta Computer is understood to be currently supplying the Cupertino tech giant with "unspecified autonomous driving solutions."
Apple has held preliminary discussions with four unnamed suppliers of LiDAR sensors for self-driving vehicles. That might indicate that the Cupertino giant has rebooted its self-driving hardware, code-named Project Titan, although the sensors could also be for the vehicles used in the company's in-house shuttle service for employees.
Apple this week reportedly laid off more than two-hundred employees from its stealthy autonomous vehicle group, dubbed Project Titan.
Other employees who were impacted by the project's restructuring are staying at Apple, but moving to different parts of the company.
According to people familiar with Apple's motives who spoke with CNBC, the layoffs were internally billed "as a kind of restructuring under the relatively new leadership."
A spokesperson for the California firm was quoted as saying:
We have an incredibly talented team working on autonomous systems and associated technologies at Apple. As the team focuses their work on several key areas for 2019, some groups are being moved to projects in other parts of the company, where they will support machine learning and other initiatives, across all of Apple.
We continue to believe there is a huge opportunity with autonomous systems, that Apple has unique capabilities to contribute, and that this is the most ambitious machine learning project ever.
"The most ambitious machine learning project ever" could not be a more apt description of any autonomous driving project, really.
Apple last August hired Doug Field, Tesla's engineering vice president, to lead the Project Titan team alongside Apple's former un-retired hardware chief Bob Mansfield.
Although investors have burned billions of dollars on autonomous driving startups and companies like Tesla, Uber, Waymo and Cruise, the technology just isn't there yet.
In 2016, Project Titan shifted focus from electric cars to autonomous driving systems, but fruits of those efforts have yet to materialize as details of what Apple's up to are hazy.
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TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (formerly with KGI Securities) has predicted that Apple may recruit its sole chip manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to build in-house designed processors based on ARM architecture for use in its car project.
Having obtained a California permit a year ago to test three self-driving cars on the road, Apple has now dramatically increased the number of SUVs in its self-driving test fleet.
Apple's kept its self-driving research secret for years, but now the company has publicized some of its autonomous driving software techniques that improve obstacle detection.
Here's your closer look at Apple's autonomous Lexus vehicle, courtesy of self-driving startup Voyage co-founder MacCallister Higgins who captured a video of the SUV and posted it to Twitter last night.