Apple Car LiDAR system could be made by iPhone supplier

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Apple Car LiDAR system could be made by iPhone supplier


The Apple Car LiDAR system could be made by the same company which makes the laser scanning system used in some iPhone models to help mimic shallow depth of field in Portrait photos and Cinematic Video footage.

While self-driving cars can use a variety of different technologies to make sense of the world around them, it’s believed that Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) will be the primary one used by Apple …

Background

An Apple Car has been rumored for many years, with a great deal of evidence to show that the company is exploring some kind of entry into the automotive market, but with conflicting suggestions about what form that involvement might take.

At one end are those who expect Apple to manufacture a complete car, with Apple branding. At the other end are those who believe the company’s ambitions are far more modest, and it only wants to gain an understanding of the market in order to expand the presence of the company’s ecosystem in car interiors.

A report late last year still pointed to plans for a complete car, though it was suggested that Apple’s plans were now much less ambitious.

The latest on Project Titan is a scaling back of the effort that will skip fully autonomous driving at launch to prioritize getting the vehicle to market. Earlier reports suggested Apple may have been going for a fully autonomous design without a steering wheel or pedals.

“In a significant shift for the project, the company is now planning a less-ambitious design that will include a steering wheel and pedals and only support full autonomous capabilities on highways, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.”

We learned last week that Apple’s test-fleet of autonomous vehicles remained static at 67, while the number of monitoring drivers was increased.

Apple Car LiDAR system

LiDAR is the gold-standard for autonomous driving, with 360-degree scanning lasers reflecting from objects surrounding the car to provide a millimetre-accurate picture of everything from kerbs to other road users.

Tesla switched from a combination of cameras and radar back in 2021, with some engineers arguing that this was a safety risk, and trying to persuade owner Elon Musk to reverse the decision. They apparently succeeded, as the latest sensor suite includes a high-resolution radar.

Economic Daily News reports that Taiwanese company Guangda – which currently makes the LiDAR systems used in iPhones, using components from Lumentum and Win Semiconductors – is expected to win orders for more sophisticated systems for a future Apple Car.

Industry sources said that Apple highly relies on LiDAR as the basis for the development of self-driving cars […] Guangda is not only part of the iPhone supply chain, but also the global heavyweight optical sensor leader, which is expected to receive orders for the Apple Car.

Concept image: Concept Creator

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