Apple has held discussions with multiple suppliers of LiDAR self-driving car sensors, according to Bloomberg. The report comes as the tech giant continues to take steps towards developing its own autonomous electric vehicle.
- LiDAR sensors enable a vehicle to sense its surroundings and determine the distance between it and other objects.
- Apple has been secretly working on an autonomous vehicle for years. It has already developed key software such as underlying processors and artificial intelligence algorithms.
- The tech giant is looking for an external supplier for hardware as it works toward developing a car design. This is a clear indication that a final product is a few years away.
- In recent weeks, news broke that Apple held conversations with Hyundai/Kia and Nissan over a potential partnership. However, talks with both companies fell apart.
- Since 2017, the tech giant has tested its robotaxi technology (with a human safety driver) on Lexus SUVs on California's public roads. Last year, Apple test cars drove 18,800 miles, more than double the total from 2019.
- However, this number is significantly fewer than the 628,839 miles driven by Waymo vehicles or 770,000 driven by Cruise vehicles.