Apple would have made good progress on its plan to market an autonomous car under its brand. The first Apple Car could be released as early as 2024 with a “revolutionary” battery.
After PCs, smartphones, tablets, headphones or even TV boxes, what could be Apple’s next product categories? Could it be a car? The idea of an Apple Car is not new, we have been talking about this project for more than 5 years on Frandroid spotted by many sources around the world (The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Bloomberg) under the name Project Titan. In 2017, Tim Cook even admitted that Apple was working on an autonomous system for electric vehicles, an Apple-style autopilot that manufacturers could perhaps integrate into their next car. These plans would have changed once again.
The first Apple car is about to see the light of day
It is the very serious press agency Reuters which today unearths the Apple Titan project by indicating that the firm would again prepare a car completely built in-house. Forget the plan to sell a service to other manufacturers, we find the DNA of the firm to design from end to end a product that it could market directly to consumers. This information comes from two sources familiar with the matter, of which Reuters obviously remains anonymous.
Obviously building a vehicle is no small project, even for a firm as large as Apple. There is a big difference between assembling and shipping hundreds of millions of 200 gram objects and hundreds of thousands of 2000 kilogram cars around the world. The cars are said to be assembled at partner factories, and Reuters says there is still a possibility that the project will return to a simpler goal of selling a system for other automakers, if the task turns out too complex for Apple.
On this point, we can easily imagine Apple starting the life of its project by marketing software, before moving towards end-to-end manufacture of the vehicle or the takeover of a manufacturer.
“Like the first time you saw the iPhone”
At the heart of this project would lie a new battery design that would have the potential to completely transform the market. In the article, one interviewee makes a particularly meaningful comparison ” it’s high level, like the first time you saw the iPhone “. If this is true, Apple would therefore have the capacity to revolutionize the automotive market as the brand has done in mobile telephony.
This new battery design would use only one cell, the latter would in fact group several of them, which would save space. Apple could use this space to create more compact cars, or on the contrary with more autonomy. Still according to Reuters sources, Apple is considering replacing the lithium-ion used in batteries with LFP, lithium iron phosphate, which would heat less and would therefore be safer.
A release ready for 2024 or 2025
If the project has had a very long life in Apple’s offices, it could soon see the light of day. According to agency sources, Apple would target 2024 for the marketing of its first model of Apple Car. The article indicates, however, that the project could be postponed to 2025 because of the pandemic.
In the meantime, the firm continues to place its pawns. LIDAR sensors, which are used by autonomous vehicles to visualize the road, began to be integrated this year on the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPad Pro. One way for Apple to gain know-how on this technology. The article mentions the idea that Apple could produce its own LIDAR sensors in the years to come.