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Apple’s always trying and testing new products for different markets. Whether that means creating new MP3 players, tablets, or tracking devices, and now it seems like Apple is working on diving into another new market. This time, the automobile market.
Yep, Apple’s thinking about creating a new, intelligent self-driving vehicle that we’ve all decided to call the Apple Car. Apple’s been working on this car for a little over half a decade, but it seems like there’s still a long way to go. Still, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been any rumors floating around about this self-driving car.
From the best battery ever seen in an EV (electric vehicle) to deep software integration with the iPhone and iOS and a completely driverless setup like we’ve never seen before. Apple’s thinking about revolutionizing the car industry and here’s everything we know about it.
Apple’s Been Working on an Apple Car for a Long, Long Time
The rumors of an Apple Car started way back in 2015. Ever since that year, we’ve seen Apple test leased cars with cameras and sensors throughout the streets of California.
More recently, in 2017, there were reports of several cars and SUVs leased by Apple driving in Cupertino with a bunch of cameras and sensors on them. And these cars have only increased in numbers over the years.
Sure, these cars are likely purposed for Apple Maps, but the ultimate implications of robust mapping software will undoubtedly benefit the Apple Car in the future.
Apple’s Working Under a Shell Company Named SixtyEight
One of the biggest rumors going around is that Apple’s working on the Apple car through a shell company called SixtyEight. This company is just minutes away from Apple’s main 1 Infinite Loop Campus in Cupertino and has received several permits for constructing an auto work area and repair garage, despite the claims this company is focusing on market research.
How Would an Apple Car Work?
Apple’s first car is said to be a completely self-driving car, and even though we don’t have all the specifics, it’s rumored that Apple will mostly use LiDAR as the main scanner.
LiDAR sensors are the soul of the future Apple Car. The light detection and ranging sensor, or LiDAR, is used to detect light and calculate the distance from the objects. Apple features this sensor in the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPad Pro.
Apple’s already testing self-driving features in Cupertino. It’s been reported that the company is working on a shuttle service called Palo Alto to Infinite Loop, also known as “PAIL.” This self-driving service would take Apple employees across Apple’s office in Silicon Valley without the need for a driver.
Other (Very) Interesting Apple Car Features
This is where things start to get interesting. If the rumors are correct, the Apple Car is going to be a very ambitious vehicle.
Starting from the doors, there are rumors that the car will come without the permanent center pillar, so the doors will be wide-swinging. Furthermore, there are two possible designs for the windows. Some say that the windows of the car will be self-tinting as they will adjust their transparency according to the weather outside. That way, they could become darker when the day’s too bright.
There are some rumors, which seem to be true considering the circumstances, that the Apple Car will be tightly integrated with iOS and so your iPhones, iPad, or even MacBooks will be able to help with how the car will work. How exactly, is yet to be seen.
As you know, the biggest hurdle for electric vehicles is their batteries, but Apple is said to be working on that. Some rumors suggest that Apple will come with some new battery type that will revolutionize the EV industry. Apple sources say that they are working on “next generation” batteries that will decrease the cost price and increase the mileage of the vehicle.
Who’s Going to Supply the Sensors?
Apple is in talks with several companies to provide some easy to mass-produced, affordable sensors. The sensors currently available aren’t large enough and too expensive. So, reportedly, Apple’s been talking with different suppliers to provide “smaller, cheaper and more easily mass-produced” LiDAR systems.
Apple’s Possible Partnerships
In April 2021, it was reported that Apple had started negotiations with a famous automobile electronic-component supplier to deal with the parts of its upcoming Apple Car, which would ultimately be manufactured by Foxconn.
Previously, Apple was in talks with Hyundai and Kia to produce its Apple Car at their production unit. However, Kia did not want to stifle its own brand to become, essentially, a car factory for Apple. Apple had also been in talks with Nissan, however was ultimately snubbed by the automaker.
When Is the Apple Car Coming Out?
In just a few words, nobody knows, probably not even Apple. One thing’s for sure, don’t expect it in the next couple of years.
According to Reuters, the first-generation Apple Car will come in 2024, but famous Apple Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks the Apple Car won’t launch until 2025 or even 2027. The latter year’s speculation seems to be more likely.
How Much Will the Apple Car Cost?
This is the million-dollar question. And hopefully, it won’t actually cost one million dollars. The truth is, there aren’t any speculations or plausible rumors about how much the car will cost.
But if we know Apple, and we do, it’s probably going to be on the expensive side. Still, we’ll have to wait a long time before we find out what the price tag will actually be. Tesla’s Model S starts at $69,000, and so we can expect the Apple Car to match that, at the very least.