A few years back, self-driving cars were just part of movies, books and our imagination. However, today these high-tech cars have taken the shape of reality. Tesla is the common name in that list. But it is not just that. Apple, the technology giant, has been reportedly working on developing self-driving cars- the Apple car. Features, however, are still not in complete light.
The news first surfaced in 2014 when Apple makers stated that consumers could witness Apple’s car integrated with Siri towards the end of 2015. However, it did not happen so and ever since then, a lot of rumours have been doing rounds on the internet regarding the Apple car features. But, as we have entered 2022- 8 years since the announcement, there have been speculations that Apple can issue an official announcement this year about the Apple car and the Apple car features and price.
Apple Car- Everything we know
Apple began its famous “Titan Project” aimed at developing fully autonomous cars in 2014. It is being said that nearly 1,000 car engineers and experts have been working on self-driving cars in a secret location near the company’s Cupertino headquarters. In the past years, there have been many shifts in the launch of the project due to leadership issues and internal rifts. However, the development is still on track.
The term “Project Titan” is used to describe the several elements and technologies associated with the Apple car- mainly for the self-driving vehicle systems and car design.
Rumours also tell that Apple is going to develop cars without steering and pedals, which means the cars would be completely autonomous. Besides, as Apple has no experience with car manufacturing, therefore it is looking for partners to produce the vehicle.
Expected “Apple Car” Design
The design and technology behind “Project Titan” have been the talk of the town. At one point, Apple was considering using BMW’s i3 as the basics for its “Apple car”. However, later the partnership was called off.
It is said that the self-driving car would detect its driver via fingerprint and then drive them anywhere they want. The company is also developing charging infrastructure with firms that supply charging stations. The technology giant is working with a Chinese firm “Contemporary Amperex Technology” to develop new batteries for automobiles. Rumours suggest that Apple has been developing an electric van. But there is no official statement from Apple on the same yet.
Another design factor could include wide-swinging doors, use of AR and VR technology, in-screen displays, privacy lighting and unique sunroof design, along with many other advanced proposals. What the car would look like can exactly be said once Apple releases a final notice.
Apple car release speculation
You might have to wait a few more years to witness what the Apple car would look like and what features it would have. Ever since the news rolled out, there have been many shifts in the release date of the Apple car. Earlier it was 2015, later, at the end of 2016, rumours suggested that the car would come out in 2020 but in vain.
In August 2018, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated that Project Titan would be completed as soon as 2023 or by far 2025. There were no reports as to how the dates were indicated. Besides, a report also suggested that 2024 would be the year when people can expect the Apple car on the floor officially. However, only time will tell the truth behind these reports.
Apple Car Features
Apple is taking care of all areas that could make the “Project Titan” hit. While the design is still not confirmed, some features of the Apple car have already been tested and confirmed.
1. No steering wheels or pedals
Apple is looking to design a car that does not require the need for steering wheels and pedals. The interior would be focused on hands-free driving. As per the report of Bloomberg, the design of the Apple car would be similar to that of the lifestyle vehicle from Canoo.
In this design, the riders are supposed to sit along with the slides of the vehicle rather than in the front seat and back seat. However, the steering won’t be completely absent from the vehicle as it might be beneficial in some emergency situations. Though it is not very clear if Apple could pull out the no-steering/pedal concept or not, and therefore we will have to wait a bit more as of now.
The Chassis or the base frame of the car is said to be based on Hyundai’s E-GMP electric vehicle platform. But the partnership is still not very clear.
3. Infotainment system
A large iPad like touch screen could be installed in the middle of the vehicle through which users can interact with the central panel, and this system could also be integrated with Apple’s current devices and products.
Apple’s Silicon engineering group is developing the processor of the car. The same group has created processors for different Apple products, including M1 Macs, iPhones, etc. The chip is the most advanced component that Apple has designed internally.
There has been news that the chip can be called C1 and would be based on the A12 Bionic processor. The chip would be capable of handling several AI-based requirements and thus could contribute to the autonomous ecosystem of the Apple car.
Apple has direct competition with electric vehicle companies like Tesla or Waymo, and therefore the tech giant is focused more on the safety of the car. Several backup systems and redundancies are being created by the engineers to ensure the car is fully secured and safe for use.
Apple is considering using LiDAR sensors in its vehicle, which could give a complete 360 view of the surroundings. These sensors are affordable and smaller and can form the base of the revolutionary design of future autonomous vehicles too.
Apple Car Price
The Apple car price is targeted at the high end of the market. Although as of now, there is no exact fixed amount as to what the customers need to pay. But speculations are made that the Apple car price would be significantly higher than the standard electric vehicle.
It looks like Apple is doing every possible bit to make sure the consumers don’t have any complaints about the car. This means we still need to wait for some more time. However, the hopes are strictly high with Apple as the self-driving Apple car features are no secret anymore.
Engineer by Degree, Writer by Profession. I have tried my hands on different genre of writing only to end up finding technology to be my forte.