It’s Rumored that Apple Plans to Release a Self-driving Electric Vehicle with a Custom Chip in 2025
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple has completed “much of the core work” on a new processor that will power the company’s secretive autonomous electric car project, known as Titan. It comes at a time when Apple is said to be speeding up the development of an autonomous car, with a new goal of launching it in just four years.
As Gurman puts it, it’s the “most advanced component” that has been developed so far for the project. Apparently, the company is gearing up to put the chip to the test in its fleet of California test vehicles and hopes to produce a vehicle with “stronger safeguards than what is currently available from Tesla and Waymo,” according to the report.
After a series of shifts, Project Titan’s new goal is to build an autonomous vehicle without a steering wheel. Canoo, the electric van startup, has been promoting a limousine-style seating arrangement in its electric van prototypes. The Verge reported earlier this year that Apple had been in talks to acquire Canoo, and recently hired one of the startup’s co-founders. A large, iPad-style touchscreen display will run a user interface similar to that of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS.
According to some reports, the company’s business model is still up in the air. While Apple has considered launching a self-driving fleet to compete with Uber, Lyft, and Waymo, Gurman reports that the “more likely scenario” is that the cars will be sold to individual customers rather than a fleet.
Apple is reportedly not interested in developing a proprietary charging cable for the electric vehicle. When it comes to fast-charging, Apple wants to make its vehicle compatible with the “combined charging system,” or CCS, which would allow it to be charged at most public fast charging stations.
Since the project was launched in 2014, there have been a number of reported changes. After Apple Watch chief Kevin Lynch took over Project Titan earlier this year, five different executives ran the operation. While the refocusing and shifting of the project’s timetable reported by Bloomberg may indicate real progress under his leadership, it could also just become the latest footnote.