Apple is accelerating the development of its electric car, refocusing the project around fully autonomous driving capabilities, with the goal of solving a technical challenge that has crippled the auto industry, according to a Bloomberg report.
The company’s shares rose after Bloomberg Agency published its report, which talked about a specific date for the launch of the American company’s first self-driving car, which according to the report will be in 2025.
Over the past years, the Apple car team has worked on two simultaneous tracks, the first is to create a model with limited capabilities for self-driving that focuses on steering and acceleration – like many current cars – and the second is a version that has full self-driving capability and does not require human intervention, according to Al Jazeera Net.
Under the company’s new leadership, engineers are now focusing on the second option. Team boss Kevin Lynch is pushing for a fully self-driving car in the first release.
This is the latest shift in efforts for the car, known as Project Titan, which has been around since the beginning of 2014.
Tesla, the market leader in electric cars, is still years away from offering fully self-driving cars.
Waymo has suffered a series of shareholder departures, while Uber agreed to sell its self-driving division last year.
Apple is internally targeting a self-driving car within 4 years, faster than the 5- to 7-year timeline that some engineers were planning earlier this year.
Specifications and features
Apple has also explored designs where the in-vehicle infotainment system is in the middle of the car, allowing users to interact with it throughout the journey.
The car is also highly integrated with existing Apple services and devices. Although the company is trying to develop a car without a steering wheel, it has discussed providing the car with a mode that enables the driver to take control in an emergency.
The company has recently made significant strides in developing the car’s basic self-driving system. It believes that it has completed a lot of basic work on the processor that it intends to ship in the first generation of the car.
The chip was designed by the company’s silicon chip engineering team rather than the car team itself. The work included modifying the basic software that works on the chip to operate the capabilities of self-driving.
Following these developments, the car could soon make its way to road tests. The company plans to start using the new processor design and updated self-driving sensors in the modified cars it has spent years testing in California.
The company currently has a fleet of 69 Lexus vehicles that are testing its technology, according to the state Department of Automobiles.