Apple Reportedly In Talks With Potential Sensor Suppliers For Driverless Cars
According to Reuters, Apple has held talks with at least four companies who count as potential suppliers for lidar sensors for driverless cars while it still works on an its own lidar unit. The companies involved are not named in the report. Such a move could indicate Apple’s renewed ambitions to get into the driverless vehicle market even after layoffs that affected more than 200 from its self-driving vehicle project in January.
Citing three persons familiar with the discussions, Reuters says Apple is seeking lidar units that would be cheaper, smaller and more easily produced on a mass scale that current technology. It says Apple is setting a high level with demands for a “revolutionary design”. Such effort may indicate Apple looking to develop the entire chain of hardware that’ll power self-driving vehicles using custom tech.
Whether Apple wants to develop its own driverless vehicles or build hardware and software elements for self-driving vehicles is not yet known. Self-driving leader Waymo recently began selling sensors to other automakers that won’t directly compete with its self-driving efforts in March, a quite noteworthy move in the driverless vehicle market.
Apple may either be building its own driverless vehicles or may partner with other automakers to supply technology for this. The company’s current direction is not known.