Apple has completed some basic components of self-driving electric vehicles and plans to commercialize them in 2025.
According to Bloomberg News, Apple is accelerating its plans to develop self-driving electric vehicles. Under the leadership of Vice President of Technology Kevin Lynch (Kevin Lynch), Apple prioritized the development of fully self-driving cars, even without a steering wheel, rather than limited self-driving like many models on the market. .
This is the latest change in Apple’s self-driving electric car project, known as the “special project team” or “Project Titan.” In September, former team leader Doug Field left Apple to join Ford. The company subsequently appointed Lynch to lead the Titan project, who knew little about cars.
Achieve the goal of commercializing electric vehicles by 2025
Apple’s goal is to launch self-driving electric vehicles by 2025, faster than the 5-7 year timetable set by engineers earlier this year. However, the launch time of the car depends to a large extent on the autonomous driving function. If the system is not perfect, Apple may postpone the launch date or launch electric cars with limited autonomous driving technology.
Apple’s ideal self-driving car would have no steering wheel, pedals, or driver’s seat. The interior options discussed by Apple have a lot in common with the self-driving electric car Lifestyle Vehicle of startup Canoo. In this car, people sit around chatting and having meetings like high stools in a luxury car model.
Apple is also considering to equip a large touch screen control screen in the middle of the car to interact with the system during the journey. The system is tightly integrated with existing Apple devices and services. Although Apple wants to build a car without a steering wheel, Apple is considering integrating an emergency control mode in the car.
Sources close to the company said that Apple has perfected most of the basic functions of the autonomous driving system, including the processor chip designed by the semiconductor team. The software running on the chip also completes the basic functions. In California (USA), Apple is testing chips and autonomous driving software on 69 Lexus SUVs.
The car chip developed by Apple is based on a neural processor for artificial intelligence (AI). The company also created a cooling system for the chips. However, new entrants like Apple will have to hire manufacturing partners. According to Bloomberg News, Apple is negotiating with a number of companies to produce self-driving electric cars in the United States.
However, many Project Titan employees believe that due to the imperfect safety system, Apple’s ability to commercialize self-driving cars by 2025 is not high.
Insiders said that Apple hopes to develop a system that is more protective than Tesla or Waymo cars, including activating multiple layers of redundancy to avoid unsafe system failures. At its job site, Apple is hiring engineers to maintain the safety systems of self-driving cars.
Apple also hopes to be equipped with a hybrid charging system called CCS (Combined Charging System). This allows Apple to participate in the global electric vehicle charging network, which is different from the proprietary charging system on the iPhone or Apple Watch.
Difficulties of Project Titan
As a leader in the field of electric vehicles, Tesla is still many years away from perfecting its fully automated driving system. Alphabet’s Waymo is also facing difficulties, Uber will sell its self-driving car business in 2020. This shows that self-driving cars are a fierce battle and require a lot of time and resources to develop. evolution.
From this year to the completion of the project, Apple will still face many difficulties. In the past 7 years, the Titan Project has experienced many internal conflicts, personnel resignations, and planning delays.
Apple recently hired a number of hardware engineers in the field of automobiles and self-driving cars, including CJ Moore, who was the head of Tesla’s self-driving software, Volvo climate system expert, and director of Apple Daimler. Trucks, battery system engineers at Karma Automotive, sensor engineers at Cruise, and many other former Tesla employees.
Currently, Kevin Lynch is the fifth team leader in the 7 years since the Titan Project was established, and the frequency of leadership changes is not high. However, with the success of Apple Watch becoming a mainstream technology device, many Project Titan engineers believe that Lynch will bring optimistic prospects for electric vehicle projects.
Although Lynch may not have much experience in the auto industry, he will be supported by many people who have worked in Tesla, Canoo or BMW.
Although leading the electric car project, Lynch is still responsible for the team that develops watchOS and medical software. The question is whether people who have succeeded on Apple Watch can