Today, according to exclusive news from Reuters, Apple is advancing its research and development for autonomous vehicles, with a focus on breakthroughs in battery technology, and plans to produce a passenger car equipped with the relevant technology in 2024.
Since 2014, Apple has been working on a car project called “Project Titan,” but progress has not been smooth. During this time, Apple turned to software development and reassessed the project’s goals.
Sources familiar with the matter quoted by Reuters said that based on their previous experience, Apple’s current goal is more user-centric and is in sharp contrast to competitors such as Waymo, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet. Waymo has already made achievements in the Robotaxi field and has opened unmanned taxi services in the United States.
Sources said that Apple’s core strategy is a new battery technology that can significantly reduce costs while increasing range.
Apple currently declined to comment on this.
(Apple Car concept image, source: wccftech)
Even for a company like Apple, building cars still faces supply chain challenges. It took Elon Musk’s Tesla 17 years to finally make a profit in car manufacturing.
Details of Apple’s car production and assembly are not yet clear, but according to sources from Reuters, Apple will communicate and negotiate with manufacturing partners. Apple may still concentrate its independent research and development on autonomous driving systems and rely on traditional automakers for vehicle production.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Apple’s vehicle production plan may be postponed until 2025 or later.
Sources further stated that Apple has decided to seek external partners’ help in areas such as LiDAR, and the Apple Car may be equipped with multiple LiDAR, some of which may come from Apple’s own radar development. Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro and iPad Pro released this year are equipped with LiDAR.
Reuters previously reported that Apple has negotiated with potential LiDAR suppliers for cooperation but is also developing its own radar.
For vehicle batteries, Apple plans to use a unique “monolithic battery” design, which will increase the size of individual batteries and optimize the space inside the battery pack. This means that more active materials can be filled inside the battery, thereby increasing the range. Sources also said that Apple is studying a type of lithium iron phosphate battery, which is essentially less prone to overheating and safer than other types of lithium-ion batteries.
The source said, “This reaches a new height, just like when the iPhone was first introduced.”For new players in the car industry, ramping up production is always an inevitable challenge, and this is no exception for companies like Apple. According to insiders, “to support the operation of a factory, annual production needs to reach at least 100,000 units or more.”
🔗Information source: Reuters
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