Apple is working to reduce the cost of its prototype self driving cars in a bid to undercut key rivals, including Google, according to a fresh report.
The news broke via Reuters on Thursday when it reported “sources familiar with the matter” revealed Apple is in talks with “at least four companies” that make the sensors used in self driving cars in a bid to reduce manufacturing costs.
Apple is also reportedly working on its own sensor tech as a plan B if the talks don’t pan out as, according to a source quoted by Reuters, “they’re not happy with most of what they see”.
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According to the report Apple isn’t happy with the design and cost of the existing sensors and wants new units that are “smaller, cheaper and more easily mass produced”.
The discussion reportedly relates to the company’s Project Titan car fleet, which currently uses Lidar systems from Velodyne Inc, which cost a staggering $100,000.
The report is the latest in a sea of leaks around Apple’s mysterious Project Titan. There have been rumblings Apple’s working on self driving tech for nearly half a decade. But it still remains unclear if the company is planning on releasing an actual Apple Car, or it just wants to make the backend architecture for self driving vehicles.
There’s also the possibility it doesn’t plan to do either. As ever, Apple has declined all requests for comment on its alleged self driving car plans.
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The news follows a separate report from the San Francisco Chronicle in February that suggested Apple was winding down its car development plans. The report suggested the company was laying off several engineers and designers and coders involved in Project Titan.
It would make sense for Apple to be working on a self-driving car, however. Numerous companies are racing to release a fully autonomous, self-driving car. Google’s been working on it publically for years. Numerous other big names, including Tesla, Uber, Lexus and Nissan also have active self-driving car projects.
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