Apple’s driverless test car—a Lexus SUV—was caught in the wild by a MacRumors reader. There’s nothing earth-shattering about catching Apple’s autonomous vehicle in the wild—it’s been done before. But, I enjoy these reminders that Apple is going full steam ahead on developing driverless technology. Project Titan leaks have dramatically slowed since Bob Mansfield took it over, but testing obviously continues apace. MacRumor‘s Juli Clover has some additional details on this particular spotting.
Bloomberg got pictures of a Lexus that reportedly belongs to Apple. An unnamed source gave the news outlet photos of the Lexus and claimed it emerged from an Apple facility known to be part of Project Titan. That’s Apple’s self-driving car project. The car is a Lexus RX450h SUV, and it has a sporty, “top-of-the-range 64-channel LIDAR, at least two radar and a series of cameras.” One must extend a measure of trust to the unnamed source, but it seems reasonable to imagine this is an Apple vehicle. If not, it’s going to be very like the kind of system Apple would be using to develop its self-driving technology. Apple veteran (legend) Bob Mansfield has refocused and pared down the Project Titan team. Its exclusive focus as of now is thought to be developing a self-driving system before moving on to an actual car. The long and the short of this story, however, is that people care what Apple is doing, even if it’s just testing technology using off-the-shelf components and a nice SUV. Bloomberg has more pics and a GIF of the car.
Thanks to a leaked health and safety report we have some clues into what projects Apple is working on, and it looks like augmented reality glasses may be on that list. Two employees suffered from eye injuries from lasers attached to some form of headgear, which sounds a lot like a wearable augmented reality device.
We know Project Titan isn’t dead because Apple has a permit to test self driving cars on public roads in California. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to talk about the status of Apple’s car plans, plus John wants us to pick a tech company to be gone in 50 years.
Apple now has a permit to test drive autonomous vehicles on public roads in California, which is a pretty clear sign the company is still doing something with its not so secret car project dubbed Titan.
Apple reignited interest in its autonomous car project with a letter to Federal regulators arguing that “new entrants” into the autonomous vehicle industry should have just as many rights as the established automakers when it comes to testing prototypes on public roads.