Apple Car reportedly shopping for the eyes of its autonomous driving——-Apple’s autonomous car project is again looking for its very well-rumored EV eye, a new report shows, in the iPhone maker is said to be in discussions with several specialists. Extensive scanning technology – although not universally believed – is believed to be the key to building a driverless vehicle, given its ability to map the environment, in real-time, and in great detail.
See also: iPhone 12 Pro Max
Several companies are currently developing LIDAR sensors, for automotive and robotics use, among other purposes. Apple has also used the same core premise of technology for its own custom sensors, called the LiDAR Scanner that launched on the iPad Pro and later appeared in the high-end iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Now Apple is in talks with sensor companies, Bloomberg reported, and cited insiders with knowledge of the negotiations. Talks are still ongoing, it is suggested, and Apple is believed that it has not yet selected a possible LIDAR candidate. Whichever hardware device is chosen, it must be compatible with the specific software that the Apple Project Titan EV project has been working on over the last few years.
Apple reportedly wants to acquire Drive.ai startup to fulfil the company’s ambition to expand into the self-driving vehicle business.
———————–What is LIDAR?——————–
LIDAR, or “light detection and range”, relies on a 3D laser scanning system. The laser pulse is sent out, & then its reflection is measured: by calculating the time it w!ll take for it to occur, the distance of any object it reflects can be calculated. The L!D4R scanners shift their array to construct a so-called point cloud from the measurement, from which the 3D topography of a scene can be constructed.
This techn0l0gy has the advantage 0f having a fairly large range c0mpared to other sensors, and – depending 0n reliable light – it can still operate even in the rain, fog or other adverse conditions. The disadvantages of traditional L!DAR are cost and practicality. In!tial “spinning bucket” scanners could cost about the same as luxury cars each, were bulky, and had moving parts making them vulnerable to potential damage.
More recent developments, notably solid-state LiDAR, have attempted to address the issue. Rather than a fully rotating array, the smaller solid-state sensor uses a micromirror to adjust the spread of the transmitter. It also makes them smaller and helps contribute to lower prices. As such, it would be more practical to equip the vehicle with several smaller LIDAR scanners than one large example, which also helps streamline its presence in the overall design of the car.
—————–Is LIDAR necessary for autonomous cars?————-
The fact that Apple’s car project will plan to use the LiDAR system is no big surprise. M0st of the self-driving vehicles being developed include laser scanning techn0l0gy between their various sensors; indeed, it is quicker to name projects that do not depend on LIDAR to some extent. Tesla’s Elon Musk is perhaps the most outspoken critic, maintaining that the existing EV, ultrasonic, and array of radar-based sensors can provide sufficient scanning performance for Level 4 and Level 5 autonomy.
Most of the other automakers, and projects, working on self-driving cars have at least one LIDAR sensor, and usually several. Falling techn0l0gy c0sts have als0 made it into production vehicles as sensors for Level 2 and Level 3 advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) . V0lv0, for example, plans t0 equip its upc0ming SPA 2 platform for future vehicles with Luminar L!DAR, after first invested in a sens0r company in 2018.