In recent months, news of an upcoming Apple Car has had the internet speculating widely, and in a new update, it appears the technology has begun evaluating driving sensor companies.
Apple is currently in talks with a number of self-driving car sensor suppliers which produce lidar, as it considers which route to go for its future self-driving vehicle, as reported by Bloomberg from an anonymous source familiar with the matter. The laser-based lidar sensors allow a computer to essentially see the space surrounding the car.
Much like it does with the iPhone, Apple is evaluating what third-party companies can supply the most important hardware for the car, which the company has already begun road testing for. In its tests, the company has also started developing most of the software needed, including underlying processors and artificial intelligence algorithms.
The news makes it clear that Apple has yet to select a company to produce some of its important hardware, supporting notions that an Apple Car likely won’t be released for another four or five years. Recently, talks with Hyundai and Kia about manufacturing a future Apple car broke down.
As Apple inches closer to the reality of developing its own car, it will require a lot of support from third-party lidar makers and vehicle manufacturers. For now, we don’t know which companies Apple will be working closely with, so we’ll keep our ear to the ground for any updates in the months and years to come.
Zachary Visconti is a news writer covering Tesla and other EV companies, as well as stories about electric battery news, autonomous driving, and all things sustainable technology. Currently residing in Santa Rosa, California. Loves his wife, his cat Banks, and a good cup of coffee.