Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) may soon face even more competition in the autonomous vehicle sector, as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) heightens its focus on accelerating its development of a fully-self driving car in the next several years.
As reported by Bloomberg, which cited people familiar with the matter, Apple has decided to accelerate the timeline of its electric vehicle plans, with a sharpened focus on fully-self driving capabilities. The latest efforts are being spearheaded by Apple Watch software executive Kevin Lynch, who is pushing for a car that goes beyond basic self-driving capabilities such as acceleration and steering.
Thus far, automakers have only been able to create electric vehicles with limited self-driving features, with the industry still years away from a fully-autonomous car that meets safety standards. Up until now, Tesla’s goals have been the most ambitious, but a series of high-profile crashes involving its Autopilot system has damped optimism for a safe and fully autonomous car anytime soon. Meanwhile, Uber has ditched plans for a self-driving vehicle entirely, and has sold its autonomous-driving division in 2020.
Apple’s engineers were previously targeting the autonomous vehicle debut sometime between the next five to seven years, but have now revised that timeline to 2025. According to the sources, the company has already completed nearly all of the “core work” on the vehicle’s processor, and is looking to design an interior with a touchscreen infotainment system, lounge seating for passengers, and no pedals or steering wheel. However, the engineers are also mulling an emergency takeover system.
The latest advancements in Apple’s processor will be included in the first generation of the car, which is already nearing the testing phase on public roads. The sources said that the company has retrofitted a fleet of 69 Lexus SUVs with the new processor design, as well as updated self-driving sensors.
Information for this briefing was found via Bloomberg. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.