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Apple is picking up its work on an Apple-designed car and is aiming to create a fully autonomous vehicle, reports Bloomberg. Apple is "refocusing" the project around full self-driving vehicles, a goal that other car manufacturers have not been able to achieve.

Apple-car-wheel-icon-feature-yellow.jpg

Work on an Apple Car began way back in 2014, and since then, the project has gone through multiple transformations. At one point, rumors suggested Apple had abandoned its plans for a full vehicle and would instead focus on software, but rumors began picking up again in 2020. It's now been made clear that Apple intends to launch its own vehicle.

As Bloomberg explains, Apple worked on two vehicle paths, one with limited self-driving capabilities and a second with full self-driving functionality that does not require human intervention, and the company will now pursue this second path under the leadership of Kevin Lynch, who joined the project earlier this year. Apple has hit a "milestone" in developing the self-driving car system, and has finished the core work on the chip that will power the first car.
The Apple car chip is the most advanced component that Apple has developed internally and is made up primarily of neural processors that can handle the artificial intelligence needed for autonomous driving. The chip's capabilities mean it will run hot and likely require the development of a sophisticated cooling system.

The hope is to develop a vehicle that can spare customers from driving fatigue when they're on long trips. But building an actual car - for an auto industry outsider like Apple - will require partnerships. The company has discussed deals with multiple manufacturers and has considered potentially building the vehicle in the U.S.
Apple wants to design a car that lacks a steering wheel or pedals, and with an interior that's aimed at hands-off driving. Bloomberg said that Apple has considered a design similar to the Lifestyle Vehicle from Canoo, in which passengers sit along the sides of the vehicle, facing one another.

Apple is still discussing the inclusion of a steering wheel, which may be required so people can take over in an emergency situation An iPad-like tablet could be in the middle of the vehicle, which passengers would be able to interact with.

Apple wants its car to be safer than those manufactured by Waymo and Tesla, with redundancies and failsafes to avoid failures. The vehicle will be electric, with Apple discussing charging that's compatible with the combined charging system so Apple vehicle owners can use a global network of chargers.

Using Lexus SUVs outfitted with LiDAR scanners and other equipment, Apple has been testing its self-driving system. Bloomberg says that Apple will test the new processor that it has developed in those cars, along with new self-driving sensors.

Apple is said to be aiming to launch its self-driving car in four years, which would put a debut right around 2025. Whether Apple will be able to hit that goal will depend on whether Apple can develop a full self-driving system. Should it not be able to meet its aims, Apple could delay launch or sell a car that's less technologically advanced. The timeline is aggressive, and Apple is ramping up hiring to meet deadlines.

Article Link: Apple Working Toward Fully Autonomous Car With No Steering Wheel or Pedals, Aiming to Launch in 2025
 

Lounge vibes 05

macrumors 68020
May 30, 2016
2,124
6,783
oh sure they can get it done by 2025. They have the technology.
But can they get it mass produced, on the road, not to mention regulated and approved by the governments by 2025?
I’m going to say no.
I don’t see a universe where the US government completely approves a driverless, wheel less and petalless vehicle in the next three-four years.
 

DesertDrummer

macrumors regular
Oct 19, 2011
163
693
Phoenix, AZ
I think the odds of realistically producing a car that drives on roads alongside human drivers but has no pedals or steering wheel is approximately zero, at least in the "near to moderately-near future". I'm a big fan of aggressive innovation, but this is just not realistic in the world today.

I think they could probably produce something that works in "closed environments" like within a park or a campus, but a vehicle with no emergency human-override option on open roads is a non-starter. Let's not smoke too much dope here.
 

antiprotest

macrumors 68030
Apr 19, 2010
2,644
5,977
There is no way on God’s green Earth that I am ever going to drive, much less own a car with no steering wheel and no pedals. Even Apple isn’t that good. Hard pass.
I understand getting me from point A to point B in the general sense. But what if I need to back up 6 feet at a certain angle so I can get my car in position to pick up a piece of furniture or something? They must make it so that some type of manual control is possible, no? I've always wondered about this.
 

Attirex

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2015
825
2,144
1. IBF someone writes "petals" instead of "pedals."

2. IBF someone posts "Apple Car Max Pro Edition, US $999,999,999.99.00
 
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DesertDrummer

macrumors regular
Oct 19, 2011
163
693
Phoenix, AZ
I understand getting me from point A to point B in the general sense. But what if I need to back up 6 feet at a certain angle so I can get my car in position to pick up a piece of furniture or something? They must make it so that some type of manual control is possible, no? I've always wondered about this.
"Hey Siri, reverse backwards for exactly 5.3 feet at 32 degrees left... No! NO STOP I MEAN RIGHT! DAMMIT!"
 

shyam09

macrumors 68020
Oct 31, 2010
2,198
2,432
I understand getting me from point A to point B in the general sense. But what if I need to back up 6 feet at a certain angle so I can get my car in position to pick up a piece of furniture or something? They must make it so that some type of manual control is possible, no? I've always wondered about this.
That's what Siri is for.

Hey Siri, I need to pick up a piece of furniture so I need you to back up 6 feet at a 124.4 degree angle.

Siri: Taking you to Fullerton, CA. *seatbelt automatically straps*

Hey Siri.

Siri: *silent*

Hey Siri

Siri: *silent*

HEY SIIIRRRIIII

Siri: How can I help you?

STOP THE CAR

Siri: Pulling up web information on "Stop the Car"
 

LawJolla

macrumors regular
Sep 29, 2013
157
983
When you hear what's actually involved in level 5 autonomous driving, the article should read "for launch in 2055."

Here's a great Lex Fridman podcast with one of the top Waymo engineers. You can learn what makes this problem space so challenging and learn why Apple's 50 vehicle "fleet" has no chance.

 

Frankl2

macrumors newbie
Sep 23, 2011
27
58
Durham, NC
I think the odds of realistically producing a car that drives on roads alongside human drivers but has no pedals or steering wheel is approximately zero, at least in the "near to moderately-near future". I'm a big fan of aggressive innovation, but this is just not realistic in the world today.

I think they could probably produce something that works in "closed environments" like within a park or a campus, but a vehicle with no emergency human-override option on open roads is a non-starter. Let's not smoke too much dope here.
I agree. Firms like May Mobility are already running fully autonomous shuttles on fixed city street routes - e.g. Providence Rhode Island. It takes the edge off of stories like this when you add "...will run in certain environments" but it's probably the only way it can work in so tight a timeline.
 
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