Apple once again seems to be seriously interested in the idea of developing cars. According to Reuters, Apple is working to develop autonomous systems and “groundbreaking battery technology” as well as the production of a passenger vehicle by 2024. The news does not give any information about how it all got together. It is not clear that all these technologies will enter the first passenger vehicle Apple hopes to make and is described as an Apple Car. However, we see that Apple is considering the production of vehicles again after closing the automobile production plans that it was interested in once before.
There were rumors that Apple was also developing a car in 2015. But in 2016, according to reports at that time, a complete car development project was shelved. Apple’s team has refocused on providing software that can be licensed to automakers. Last year, about 200 people from Apple’s car team were also laid off.
It seems Apple seems to have reintroduced the idea of building a car. However, there is a lot of uncertainty as to when (and even whether it will happen). Reuters says 2024 is the production target for an Apple-made passenger car, but could be delayed to “2025 or beyond” due to delays in the pandemic. The news also points out that Apple still has a chance to scale its efforts to autonomous driving technology only.
The report says Apple is relying on third-party organizations to provide some components of its self-driving technology, including LIDAR systems. It is stated that Apple’s battery technology is based on a “single cell” design that allows more capacity to be accommodated in the entire battery unit by not splitting it into separate cells. Reuters says this could result in “potentially a longer range” and lower costs.
Apple did not comment on the issue.
If Apple plans to produce a self-driving car, it is stated that this car may face legal obstacles before setting off. There are no truly self-driving cars available today, but some cars, like the Tesla example, offer a certain degree of advanced driver assistance for driving in certain situations.
Earlier this month, Apple handed over control of the driverless car project to the company’s AI manager, John Giannandrea. Giannandrea had come to Apple in 2018 to work at Siri, after working as a search and AI manager at Google.
Earlier, another report published in the Economic Daily News in Taiwan suggested that an Apple-made car could be launched in 2021, if true, in a surprisingly ambitious time frame. According to MacRumors, in 2018, trusted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had predicted that a car would be launched between 2023 and 2025. However, the overall impression is that Apple has focused on driverless technology for the past few years, rather than an actual Apple Car production.