There has been so much speculation and rumors surrounding Apple’s desire to create its own Apple Car over the last few years. Project Titan has had its share of growing pains but it appears that this project is now on a path to an obtainable goal.
Apple executive Bob Mansfield scaled down Project Titan’s ambitions and has the team focusing on developing the self-driving technology software before even thinking about building an Apple Car. Mr. Mansfield took over the project’s leadership role in April 2016.
Just a short time ago Apple applied for and received a permit to test its self-driving technology on public streets. But alas this will not be for an Apple Car, per say but rather Apple’s self-driving technology. The company obtained several Lexus SUVs and outfitted them with the necessary equipment.
MacRumors reported, “Earlier this week, a white Lexus RX450h SUV was seen leaving an Apple building and was captured in a series of photos by an unnamed source who shared the images with Bloomberg. The vehicle is equipped with multiple sensors, cameras, and radar.”
Bloomberg reported details on the equipment the test vehicle was outfitted with.
“The sensors included Velodyne Lidar Inc.’s top-of-the-range 64-channel lidar, at least two radar and a series of cameras. The sensors appear to be products bought off the shelf from suppliers, rather than custom-made, according to an industry expert who saw the photos.”
This seems like the right path for Apple since they are after all a software company. Car manufacturing is an entirely different discipline. The competition is stiff. Taking on the already established automakers who are already working on this tech does not seem like a profitable move, at least at this stage.
Apple has had talks regarding the licensing of its technology to a number of carmakers including Volkswagen AG and BMW AG. As an extension to CarPlay, this could be a profitable move.