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Apple wants to develop its own sensors for autonomous cars

Apple wants to develop its own sensors for autonomous cars

That Apple likes to control all aspects of its products, this is nothing new for anyone. It is no wonder that the company is developing its own 5G modem in order to resolve the issue of supplying this vital component of iPhones once and for all.

The good time, informs the Reuters, has to do with the «Project Titan» (related to autonomous cars). According to the news agency, Apple is interested in creating its own sensors for autonomous cars – called To deal, an optical remote sensing technology that measures the properties of reflected light in order to obtain distance and / or other information about a particular distant object (basically, it is essential for the car to know what is happening around it) ; in parallel, Apple is also talking to at least four possible suppliers of these sensors, assessing which would be the best move.

Apple is interested in smaller, cheaper sensors that are easier to mass produce than current technology, according to traditional sources «familiar with the subject». As always, the company established “a high standard of demand for a revolutionary design”, one of those people would have said. She wants, for example, that these sensors be able to see hundreds of meters on a road.

This desire for the Apple may be an indication that it is interested in fully autonomous vehicles and not just that it has adaptive control like many of the current cars.

Today’s sensors, including those from Velodyne (used by Apple in its current fleet of autonomous cars), use mechanical parts that emit pulses of laser light to render accurate images of the environment around the car, which can cost up to $ 100,000. This makes them very bulky and prone to failure for use in mass-produced vehicles. Because of this scenario that can still improve a lot, dozens of startups invested more than $ 1 billion to solve this and make these sensors smaller, cheaper and more robust.

The Apple idea could be implemented, according to Reuters, using conventional semiconductor manufacturing techniques. This would have the potential to greatly reduce production values ​​as sensors are produced in larger numbers, similar to chips in phones and other devices.

Still, even with this interest from Apple, it is not known exactly what are Apple’s plans for this new market. Does it intend to launch its own autonomous vehicle? Or do you intend to partner with other vehicle manufacturers, being responsible for the autonomous system itself?

Although we have some information here and there about the “Titan Project”, we can say that it is being kept very well by Apple – even more considering the number of people involved since, even with the last layoffs, rumors indicate that there are about 5,000 workers involved in the project.

via 9to5Mac