Apple in talks with ‘multiple suppliers’ for Apple Car LiDAR tech

They would help a self-driving car “see” its surroundings.

What you need to know

  • Apple is holding talks with multiple suppliers over LiDAR technology for Apple Car.
  • As expected, LiDAR would help an Apple Car “see” its surroundings to aid self-driving capabilities.

A new report says that Apple is in talks with multiple suppliers over LiDAR technology for its rumored Apple Car.

From Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. is in discussions with multiple suppliers of self-driving car sensors known as lidar, according to people familiar with the matter, a key milestone toward development of its first passenger vehicle.
The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is in active talks with a number of potential suppliers for these laser-based sensors that allow a car’s computer to “see” its surroundings, said the people, who asked not to be identified due to the private nature of the discussions. The company has been working on a driverless vehicle project for several years and has developed on its own most of the necessary software, underlying processors and artificial intelligence algorithms needed for such a sophisticated system.

The report says that, like iPhone, Apple will rely on outside vendors for the hardware, and that this development indicates Apple has not settled on one specific supplier. LiDAR is a well-established self-driving technology.

Bloomberg reports that Apple has “a team of car interior, body, drivetrain and battery experts working toward eventually launching a car”, echoing previous reports that the Apple Car is at least five years away.

This week it emerged that a key manager of the Apple Car project, Benjamin Lyon, has left the company after nearly 7 years to join satellite and space startup Astra. Today’s report says it is unclear what impact Lyon’s departure may have on the development of Apple Car.

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