The Apple car will reportedly have a centrally-integrated operating system that will control all aspects of the vehicle, including navigation.
Seeds of the autonomous vehicle industry were sown in 2004 when Pentagon’s secretive arm DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) organized a competition, challenging engineers to design a vehicle that would self-navigate 150 miles through the Mojave desert. The challenge was open to anyone and had a $1 million prize. Robotists, engineering students, DIY enthusiasts, all turned up to try their luck, but nobody succeeded that year. Three years later, however, four groups completed the course, laying the foundation for a multi-billion dollar industry.
A new report from Taiwanese publication Digitimes claims that the much-rumored Apple car will run a centrally-integrated operating system, much like Tesla OS. According to the report, it would be the single point of control for all aspects of the car, including driving features such as navigation and lane control, entertainment features like Apple Music integration, and creature comforts like air-conditioning. The report further claims that the car will sport self-driving sensors made by a South Korean company. The sensors will be part of the Domain Control Unit (DCU) that is expected to process the data provided by the cameras, LiDAR, and other sensors that go into making an autonomous vehicle.
Apple Car Could Launch In 2025
The new report about the Apple car comes at a time when chatter about it has somewhat subsided in the media. While at least one recent report claimed that Apple has dissolved the Apple car team due to various problems, others claim that the project is still very much on-track and the much-rumored vehicle could even debut by 2025. Whatever is the truth, there has been some upheaval in the core team, which lost three key engineers late last year in what was seen as a major setback. The developments followed a massive exodus earlier in the year, when several top engineers and managers working with the project left for greener pastures.
Even amidst all the drama surrounding the project, and the major departures over the past year, work on the autonomous vehicle has reportedly been going on unabated. As part of the process, Apple recently patented a new sliding sunroof with a variable tint, which the company calls ‘variable translucency.’ Late last year, the company also filed for a patent on an external vehicle warning system that uses lights and text displays. As per Apple‘s patent application, the setup could notify pedestrians and other drivers on the road when a car is in autonomous mode, offering information on its speed, how hard it’s braking, and even the speed of cars in the vicinity.
Next: This Crazy Apple Car Concept Might Offer A Glimpse At The Real Thing
Source: Digitimes (Paywall)
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