Apple Inc. is reportedly planning to produce a passenger vehicle with self-driving technology by 2024.
Citing people familiar with the matter, Reuters said that the iPhone maker is "moving forward with self-driving car technology and is targeting 2024 to produce a passenger vehicle that could include its own breakthrough battery technology."
Reuters said that Apple's strategy includes the development of a new battery design that could “radically” reduce the cost of batteries and also increase the vehicle’s range.
It also said that although it remains unclear who would assemble an Apple-branded car, sources claim that they expect Apple to rely on a manufacturing partner to build vehicles. However, one of the sources said that there’s still a chance that the tech company 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.
The report also said that Apple is tapping outside partners for elements of the systems, which include lidar sensors that help self-driving cars get a three-dimensional view of the surroundings. Apple’s latest products, the iPhone 12 Pro and IPad Pro models both feature lidar sensors.
Meanwhile, two people with knowledge of Apple's plan told Reuters that "pandemic-related delays" could push the start of the company's car production project by 2025 or beyond.
Apple declined to comment on its plans or future products, according to Reuters.
The company has been working on a self-driving technology known as Project Titan since 2014. According to a Bloomberg report, Apple initially wanted to build its own car but recalibrated those ambitions to prioritize the underlying technology for autonomous driving.
(Image from AFP)