Apple is reportedly working to develop self-driving car technology through its Project Titan project, and is targeting the year 2024 to produce electric cars that can feature its own battery technology.
Apple began its efforts in this area in 2014 by designing its own car from scratch, but at some point backed away from efforts to focus on software and reassessed its goals.
Doug Field returned to oversee the project in 2018 and laid off 190 people from the team in 2019.
Since then, Apple has made enough progress that it is now aiming to build a car for consumers.
Apple’s goal of building its own personal electric cars contrasts with competitors such as Waymo.
Central to Apple’s strategy is a new battery design that can drastically reduce the cost of batteries and increase the range of driving.
Building a vehicle is a challenge to the supply chain even for Apple, which makes hundreds of millions of electronic products every year with parts from all over the world, but has never built a car.
It took Tesla electric vehicles 17 years before it achieved sustainable auto profits.
It is unclear who the company might collect the Apple-branded car, and the sources said: It expects the company to rely on a manufacturing partner to build the vehicles.
Apple may decide at any time to reduce its efforts to an autonomous driving system that integrates with a car made by traditional car manufacturers, rather than selling a car of its trademark.
Apple decided to take advantage of external partners for system elements, such as the Lidar sensors, that help self-driving cars get a 3D view of the road.
Apple’s car may include several Lidar sensors to scan different distances, and some sensors can be derived from the internally developed Lidar units included in the iPhone 12 Pro and iPad Pro for this year.
As for the car battery, Apple plans to use the unique single-cell design that increases the size of the individual cells in the battery and saves interior space by eliminating the units that contain battery materials.
This design means that more active materials can be packed inside the battery, giving its electric cars a longer range.
The company is examining the battery, called LFP, or lithium iron phosphate, and is less likely to overheat, making it safer than other types of lithium-ion batteries.