We've been hearing about rumors of Apple Car for I don't even remember how long. Nonetheless, the project seems to have gained some momentum as a report by Bloomberg has revealed that Apple has completed "much of the core work" for the processor of its own EV.
According to the report, Apple is exploring two options for its EV: one that which is semi-self driving which may require human intervention, and the other one which which is fully autonomous. According to the report, Apple Car project's, or rather Project Titan's head, Kevin Lynch, engineers are now "concentrating on the second option."
Naturally, a self-driving vehicle requires a lot of data to process and for that a powerful chip is required. Mark Gurman has reported that the chip Apple has developed is “most advanced component” the company has developed so far. It'll allow Apple to make a fully self-driving vehicle without any steering wheel. The report says that Apple is getting ready to put the chip through the real-world paces and the company will start testing its vehicle in California soon. The company aims to make a vehicle with “stronger safeguards than what’s available from Tesla and Waymo,” according to the report.
Thanks to the vehicle being steering wheel-less, Apple is planning a lounge like interior for the car. The report says that Apple has discussed giving its car an interior that is similar to the one in the "Lifestyle Vehicle from Canoo Inc." The company has also discussed an interior where a large iPad will be in the middle of the lounge, "letting users interact with it throughout a ride." Though the company is pushing its steering wheel-less design, the company is also discussing a "emergency takeover mode" for its EV.
Interestingly, Apple is still undecided on the business model of its EV yet. The report says that Apple has previously considered to make a self-driving fleet of electric vehicles that would compete with Uber and Lyft, but Mark Gurman says that Apple will most likely sell the cars to individuals.
With the things speeding up, the project's head Kevin Lynch is now targeting a release of 2025. Apple reportedly targeted a launch in five to seven years, but the company is now aiming to do it in four years. However, the report still says that some people in the project are still "skeptical about the timeline."
However, the car will still have to go through a lot of testing. According to the Bloomberg's report, "advancements could soon make their way into road tests" It claims that Apple has plans to "start using the new processor design and updated self-driving sensors in retrofitted cars that it’s spent years testing in California. The company currently has a fleet of 69 Lexus SUVs experimenting with its technology, according to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles."
Even after the testing is complete, building a car is still an ambitious project for the tech company. It would require a lot of partnerships in the auto industry and even though the company has "discussed deals with multiple manufacturers" and considered potentially building the vehicle in the U.S.," the car could still miss its target of 2025.