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Friday, 19 November 2021 10:06

Apple Reportedly Accelerating Car Development, Wants Model to Be Fully Autonomous

Written by Michael Gauthier, CarScoops

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The Apple Car is the unicorn of the automotive industry as it’s often talked about, but never seen.

That trend continues as Bloomberg is reporting the tech giant wants to speed up development of the vehicle and has refocused the project around its “full self-driving capabilities.”

 

The publication goes onto explain the project has explored two possibilities for the model with the first having “limited self-driving capabilities focused on steering and acceleration.” The report doesn’t elaborate, but this sounds like relatively common features such as adaptive cruise control and lane centering.

 

However, Apple has also been considering a “version with full self-driving ability that doesn’t require human intervention.” This suggests it would have a Level 4 system that could operate autonomously under certain conditions or even a Level 5 system that can operate fully autonomously.

 

While the company was said to be looking at both possibilities, Apple has now reportedly concentrated their efforts on the latter. The move would seem to make sense as a semi-autonomous vehicle wouldn’t really stand out in the market.

 

The report goes on to say that Apple is planning to launch the vehicle in four years, which means it could arrive in late 2025. That’s an ambitious target and it remains unclear if the company can achieve that goal as engineers were reportedly expecting the launch to occur in 2026, 2027 or 2028.

 

Bloomberg goes on to suggest if the fully autonomous technology isn’t ready in time, the company could still move forward with...


...the launch and sell the vehicle with a less advanced semi-autonomous driving system. However, that seems somewhat doubtful as Apple is reportedly eyeing a vehicle with a lounge-like interior that lacks a steering wheel and pedals.

 

While a number of questions remain, the project seems to be moving ahead as the publication says the team recently hit a “key milestone in developing the car’s underlying self-driving system.” The company is also said to have “completed much of the core work on the processor it intends to eventually ship in the first generation of the car.”

 

The updated technology is expected to make its way into the company’s fleet of 69 Lexus prototypes, which have spent the past few years helping to refine Apple’s driving technology. However, the company has a long road ahead as more testing will be required.

 

We thank CarScoops for reprint permission.

 

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