Apple Car C1 Chip to Allow Menu Navigation with Eye-Tracking (and More)

Apple Car Interior Concept Stefano Tsai Credit: Stefano Tsai
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The Apple Car may technically only be a rumor, but that isn’t stopping analysts from discussing and analyzing what Apple may have up its sleeve.

The latest opinion piece by noted analyst Colin Barnden for EETimes takes a deep dive into current automobile trends and applies that to the Apple Car.

Based on the latest in automotive technology, Barnden describes how Apple could be eyeing a new automotive-grade processor to power the user interface for its rumored Apple Car.

Barnden points to CES 2021 as the inspiration for his speculation noting the artificial intelligence inside the cabin is the hot new trend.

Instead of tapping on a screen to navigate a maze of menus, drivers could use eye-tracking technology, voice assistants, and integrated 5G connectivity to control their car’s infotainment system.

Barden speculates Apple may look to build upon the A12 Bionic processor’s success to develop what he calls the “C1” chip.

“I’m certain Apple would make some tweaks, changes, and additions to keep us all guessing, but if the iCar is to enter production in 2024, then a slightly modified variant of the A12 looks like a great starting point for the C1. After all, why re-invent the wheel?”

This C1 chip would include technology-specific for a car, such as eye-gaze tracking, and would require Apple to license technology it cannot design itself.

One such partner could be Seeing Machines, which produces the Occula Neural Processing Unit Core. Occula’s technology already supports artificial intelligence and algorithms to track vision and other factors that come into play inside a car.

Nobody knows for sure when Apple plans to release a consumer vehicle. Dates suggested by analysts range from 2024 to 2027. Even though the details are sparse, the project is rumored to be gaining steam inside Apple, with a partner like Hyundai/Kia showing interest in an Apple Car product.

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