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Rumor: Apple said to be in talks with potential LiDAR sensor providers for “Project Titan” self-driving car effort

jeudi 18 avril 2019, 12:00 , par Power Page
Even though it’s been a rough project, Apple’s self-driving car effort may have crossed a new milestone.

Apple is reportedly in discussions with a number of component suppliers regarding LiDAR sensors that could be used in Apple’s self-driving cars.

The company, which has already produced a variety of sensor test beds for its fleet of test vehicles, seems to be working on the next test bed generation.

Per Reuters, Apple has been in talks with at least four different support of LiDAR sensors, which could be incorporated into the company’s trials. It’s thought that Apple is evaluating the offerings on the table, while simultaneously working on its own LiDAR hardware.

The updated components at the center of the discussions are smaller and cheaper than the currently used versions, making them easier to mass produce, and to potentially hide within a vehicle to make the system as a whole less obvious to outside observers. Apple is said to demand a “revolutionary design” for the components, ones that depart greatly from existing designs. 

Existing systems are expensive, costing an estimated $100,000 per car, and the bulkiness and use of mechanical components to sweep the lasers introduces issues with reliability. A non-mechanical alternative would in theory be more robust, while a smaller and cheaper component would likely help foster the use of self-driving system development. 

It’s unknown as to what Apple’s ultimate goal for “Project Titan” is, and it’s thought that it could be either computer-aided navigation, or the production of an Apple-designed car.

Apple recently laid off 190 people from Project Titan in February as part of a wide management shakeup, following after another 200 who were dismissed in January, but there are still people being brought aboard. In March, Apple hired a former Tesla engineer with a background in powertrain development, raising the possibility Apple’s car could be some form of electric vehicle. 

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via AppleInsider and Reuters
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jeu. 28 mai - 00:37 CEST