The Apple Car reportedly will not be a consumer product but could be part of a transportation service that users can subscribe to.
Tim Cook has stated in the past that the self-driving project is the mother of all AI projects
Apple is looking towards LiDAR vendors to buying cutting edge LiDAR sensors that will power self-driving car systems. According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is looking at LiDARs which will be considered cutting edge 4-5 years from now, giving us a better idea of when the Apple Car will actually be available for consumers. Apple is in active talks with a number of companies that supply it with LiDAR sensors. As is always the case with Apple, the discussions are private – because of the super-secretive nature of the Cupertino-based company. Apple recently cancelled talks with Hyundai and Kia after the Korean companies officially acknowledged the talks related to manufacturing the Apple Car.
LiDAR is considered a key component of a self-driving car as it enables spatial awareness and allows to car to see further and better than traditional cameras. It is a laser-focused radar that measures the distance between it and other objects. After gaining the LiDAR data using AI algorithms, an image of the surroundings is created which enables the car to drive on its own.
Interestingly, Apple already uses miniature LiDARs in the 2020 iPad Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro models enabling better depth perception for portrait mode photos, night mode shots, auto-focus and augmented reality.
Apple in December handed the reigns of the Apple Car project to John Giannandrea who is their head of AI and machine learning. Apple has also poached people from traditional car companies like Porsche and also modern electric car companies like Tesla.
The Apple Car reportedly will not be a consumer product but could be part of a transportation service that users can subscribe to. It is also being designed in such a way that there is no possibility of a human driving it, but instead, it will be meant for passive transportation.
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