Apple is aiming for a completely autonomous car in 2025 – what it could look like

The first generation of Apple cars probably will not have a steering wheel or pedals. Andy Wang / Unsplash

After years of rumors, false starts and delays, the talk of the “Apple car” has resurfaced, this time with a concrete timeline. According to Bloomberg, the iPhone maker reportedly aims to debut a fully electric and autonomous car as early as 2025 under the effort’s new leader, Apple Watch software chief Kevin Lynch.

Apple has developed electric vehicles and technologies for autonomous driving through a special device called “Project Titan.” The former team leader for three years, Doug Field, left Apple in September for a job at Ford. The same month he was replaced by Lynch, a software manager with no experience in the automotive industry.

“For the past many years, Apple’s automotive team has been exploring two simultaneous avenues: creating a model with limited self-driving characteristics focused on steering and acceleration – similar to many current cars – or a version with full self-driving capability that does not require human intervention. , “Bloomberg reported Thursday, referring to people familiar with the matter. “Under the new leader of the effort … engineers are now concentrating on the second option.”

What will an Apple car look like?

Sources told Bloomberg that the interior of the Apple car would be designed “around hands-off driving,” meaning there would be no steering wheel or pedals. One option being discussed inside the company is an interior design similar to that of a prototype made by Canoo, a Los Angeles-based lifestyle EV startup that has a sectional seating area in living room style.

The interior of a Canoo prototype. Canoo

Apple has also explored a design that has an iPad-like touch screen in the center of the car, like an entertainment center, the sources said. The car would also be highly integrated with existing Apple services and devices.

Completely self-propelled, seriously?

Bloomberg sources said that Apple recently reached an “important milestone” in the development of the underlying self-driving system for the first generation of Apple cars. If true, it’s a huge deal for the automotive industry. Autonomous driving is notoriously difficult, both for technical and regulatory reasons. Tesla, the market leader in electric vehicles, is one of the first automakers to develop the technology. And despite the fact that its latest driver assistance system has been named “Full Self-Driving”, the company has admitted that it will not actually achieve level 5 autonomous driving in the near future.

Level 5 is the highest level of driving automation defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), which does not require any human intervention while driving. SAE defines six levels of driving automation from level 0 (fully manual) to level 5 (fully autonomous). These standards have been adopted by the US Department of Transportation. Tesla’s current driver assistance system is a Level 2, which requires a driver to be constantly alert behind the wheel.

Bloomberg reported that although Apple is pushing for design without a standard steering wheel, the company has discussed equipping the car with an emergency takeover mode.

Apple has not responded to a query confirming recent developments.

Apple is aiming for a completely autonomous electric car in 2025 - here's what it might look like

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