Apple decides to add wheels and pedals to its 'self-driving' car

Apple decides to add wheels and pedals to its ‘self-driving’ car

Apple has realized that and has decided to give up on the idea of a ‘fully self-driving car’ and postpone the car’s target launch date by almost a year to 2026. The car project is called Titan inside the company. Apple executives are grappling with the reality that its vision for a fully autonomous vehicle without a steering wheel or pedals isn’t something humanity can achieve anytime soon.

Apple is still trying to create a remote command centre to assist drivers during emergencies and control cars remotely. The company is also considering offering its insurance program to customers. According to the people, Apple had expected each vehicle to sell for more than $120,000, but the company is now aiming to provide vehicles to consumers for less than $100,000. That would put it roughly in the same price range as the entry-level version of Tesla’s Model S and Mercedes-Benz’s EQS.

The company is now planning a less ambitious design that will include a steering wheel and pedals and support fully autonomous capabilities only on highways. Apple faces the challenge of pushing into an entirely new product category and breaking down the technical barriers that have plagued some of the world’s biggest companies. The secretive project, in the works for years, aims to provide Apple with another significant money maker but could also test the limits of the iPhone maker’s capabilities.

Apple plans to develop a vehicle that allows drivers to watch a movie or play a game on a freeway and be prompted to switch to manual controls if they reach city streets or encounter inclement weather. Is alerted to. The company has discussed initially launching the feature in North America and then improving and expanding it over time.

Apple’s previous vision for the car was to offer Level 5 autonomy, the pinnacle of self-driving technology, which no automaker has achieved. The current scheme is considered below due to its more limited scope.

The current leader of the Apple Cars team, Kevin Lynch, has aimed to bring more stability and focus on practical goals after years of prioritization changes and even some layoffs. Lynch took over in late 2021 and initially directed the team working on the car, known as the Special Projects Group, to focus on the first fully autonomous vehicle by 2025. Now he’s dialling back those expectations but ensuring the product reaches the market.

The main focus of Apple technology is a powerful onboard computer system, codenamed Denali, the highest mountain peak in North America, and a custom array of sensors. The processor’s performance is equivalent to about four of Apple’s highest-end Mac chips combined and is being developed by the company’s silicon engineering group. The chip has reached an advanced state and is believed to be almost production-ready, although Apple may scale it down to reduce costs before the car’s launch.

The Apple Cars organization comprises approximately 1,000 employees in various offices in Sunnyvale, California; Ottawa; Zurich; and Arizona. In Sunnyvale, most of the underlying engineering work, industrial design, and software development. At the same time, parts of the car’s future operating system are developed in Ottawa. In this region, the poached company employees from BlackBerry’s QNX, Which is a long-time manufacturer of car software. 2016.

A team in Zurich is developing a tool called the “Rocket Score” that grades a vehicle’s autonomous systems. That core team suffered a setback earlier this year when Ian Goodfellow, a lead developer of the AI technology who helped lead the group, fired Apple after complaining about its work-from-home policies. Left.

In addition to the onboard hardware, the system has a cloud-based component for some artificial intelligence processing. Apple relies on Amazon Web Services for hosting, which costs the iPhone maker about $125 million a year. But it’s only a slice of the roughly $1 billion the company spends annually on the car project.

Apple has yet to decide on a design for its car, and the vehicle is believed to be in the “pre-prototype” stage. The company aims to have the design ready next year and set up the facilities by the end of 2024. There are plans then to put the car through extensive testing in 2025.

Apple has previously discussed launching a car that looks similar to Canoo’s lifestyle vehicle. The idea was to have a limousine-like interior where the passengers could sit facing each other. The plan is to build something more like a conventional car with a driver’s seat. The company has held discussions with several suppliers about acquiring an electric-vehicle platform, known in the industry as a “skateboard,” but it is still looking for a partner.

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