Apple Car project’s search for LiDAR sensor suppliers hints at self-driving vehicle’s launch in the next 5 years

강승환 기자 | 기사입력 2021/02/25 [11:13]

Apple Car project’s search for LiDAR sensor suppliers hints at self-driving vehicle’s launch in the next 5 years

강승환 기자 | 입력 : 2021/02/25 [11:13]

▲ Photo credit: MichaelGaida / Pixabay


Apple has reportedly started having discussions with potential suppliers of LiDAR for its future self-driving vehicle. However, the company is said to be eyeing a next-generation variant of the sensor hinting at Apple Car’s possible release window.


Apple is looking for LiDAR sensor suppliers for its self-driving car


It appears that the use of LiDAR scanner on iPad Pro tablets and iPhone 12 Pro models last year will not be the last time for Apple. Bloomberg reported that the company is actively having discussions with “mutliple suppliers” that could eventually provide them with the laser-based sensors.


LiDAR is poised to become one of the most crucial components for the upcoming self-driving car. While the sensor is mainly used for low-light photography and augmented reality scanning on the iPhone 12 Pro, it will serve practically as the Apple Car’s eyes on the road.


Going by this report, this means the company has pretty much settled on using LiDAR as the main sensors of the so-called Apple Car. But the ongoing talks also mean many details have yet to be finalized, including which manufacturer would supply it to them.


Procuring LiDAR for the self-driving Apple Car is also more complicated than getting the sensors for iPhone 12 Pro. And Apple is likely eyeing a customized version of the sensor since the company is also developing its own software and algorithms for the vehicle.


Apple Car launching happening in 5 years?


Earlier this month, one of the leading members of the Apple Car development and was identified as a key figure in the sensors team has left the company. Therefore, the report that Apple is already searching for potential LiDAR suppliers is, overall, a good sign. But it also does not mean the self-driving vehicle will be unveiled anytime soon.


Apple is reportedly looking to use a next-generation LiDAR technology expected to be ready within four to five years. This corresponds with earlier speculations that the Apple Car might not be ready for mass production or official launch until the latter part of the decade.


The Apple Car is also widely anticipated to be an electric vehicle. However, there is not much information known about the company plans for the battery specs at this point.


Featured photo by MichaelGaida on Pixabay

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