Tesla’s biggest rival is here! According to Reuters, Apple plans to advance self-driving technology, targeting 2024 production of sedans equipped with Apple’s self-developed breakthrough battery technology. The report pointed out that Apple’s new battery design is expected to significantly reduce battery costs and increase the range of vehicles.
However, according to the supply chain news of the Taiwanese factory, the Apple Car will be released at least two years earlier than originally expected, and will be released in September next year. Its prototype car has been tested on the road in California, the United States, and the supply of components from relevant Taiwan factories has been busy, and the order has been fully sold.
Apple’s auto effort, dubbed Project Titan, has been designing its own cars from scratch since 2014, but it hasn’t gone well. At one point, Apple abandoned efforts to build a full car to focus on self-driving software and reassessed its goals. Doug Field, an Apple veteran who previously worked at Tesla, returned to Apple in 2018 to lead the project and laid off 190 people on the team in 2019.
Apple’s “Project Titan” has come a long way since then, and now intends to build a full car for consumers, according to two people familiar with the matter. Apple’s plans to create a mass-market personal car target stand in stark contrast to rivals such as Waymo, the self-driving car subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet. Waymo has built driverless taxis and is experimenting with driverless ride-hailing.
At the heart of Apple’s car strategy is a new battery design that could “fundamentally” reduce battery costs and increase the car’s range, according to a third person familiar with Apple’s battery design. Apple declined to comment on its plans or future products.
Even for Apple, designing an entire car from scratch presents daunting supply chain challenges. Although Apple has deep pockets and produces hundreds of millions of Electronic gadgets each year from parts sourced from around the world, it has never built a car. It took Elon Musk’s Tesla 17 years to become consistently profitable.
It’s unclear who will help assemble the Apple-branded cars, but people familiar with the matter expect the company to rely on manufacturing partners to build the cars. Apple could still decide to narrow its efforts to just developing self-driving systems and integrating them with vehicles made by traditional automakers, rather than selling Apple-branded vehicles, one of the people added.
The people familiar with the matter also said that the Apple car may be equipped with multiple lidar sensors to scan different distances. And some of the sensors may come from a lidar unit developed in-house by Apple. The iPhone 12 Pro and iPad Pro that Apple released this year are all equipped with lidar sensors.
There have been no previous reports that Apple is in talks with potential lidar suppliers, but the company is also looking into making its own sensors.
As for car batteries, Apple plans to use a unique “cell” design that increases the volume of the cells in the battery by eliminating the bags and Modules that hold the battery material and frees up more energy inside the battery pack, the people said. multiple spaces.
Apple’s design means that the battery can be filled with more active material, making the car’s potential range longer. Apple is also working on a battery chemistry called LFP (lithium iron phosphate), which itself is less likely to overheat and is therefore safer than other types of lithium-ion batteries, the person said.
“This means that Apple is taking car battery technology to a whole new level, just like we did with the iPhone for the first time,” a person familiar with the matter said of Apple’s battery technology.
Apple had previously been in talks with Magna International to build the car, but the talks ended as Apple’s plans became increasingly unclear. Magna did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The capacity typically required by auto contract manufacturers in order to be profitable could also pose a challenge to Apple, which would be a newcomer to the auto market. “In order to have a viable assembly plant, Apple would need to produce 100,000 cars a year, and more every year,” said one of the people familiar with the matter.
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