Remember when rumblings about an ‘Apple Car’ were so common, it seemed all but certain a futuristic vehicle from Cupertino was imminent? Tim Cook went so far as to confirm the company was working on self-driving tech in 2017. But then reports mostly went silent, culminating with Apple laying off 190 employees working on the vehicle in 2019.
It now appears the vehicle, codenamed Project Titan, is back on.
According to a report by Reuters, Apple is aiming to begin producing its car in 2024. Key to the vehicle would be new tech that could make batteries “radically” cheaper and increase the vehicle’s range. These batteries would incorporate a ‘monocell’ design that would allow the vehicleto store more energy in a given space “by eliminating pouches and modules that hold battery materials,” according to one of Reuters’ sources.
Batteries aside, Apple is expected to use LiDAR technology for a 3D view of the road around the vehicle. At this point, it’s unclear if Apple will use its own technology or partner with third parties for the version to be used in its vehicle. Though, as seen with the iPhone 12 Pro, the company is clearly actively working on the technology.
That said, you might want to wait before you start saving up. According to one of Reuter’s sources, it’s still possible “Apple will decide to reduce the scope of its efforts to an autonomous driving system that would be integrated with a car made by a traditional automaker.” Even if it sticks to making its own vehicle, the coronavirus pandemic could delay production to “2025 or beyond.”
Still, it seems like we may see the Apple car one day after all. It would be a major pivot for a company that has focused on personal computing throughout its history, but being one of the world’s richest companies probably helps.
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