The self-driving car is one of Apple’s worst-kept secrets. The Cupertino company has been working on its own electric car with autonomous driving capabilities since at least 2014. And it has been testing its autonomous driving systems on California roads for the last few years. Recently, Google Analytics program manager Louis Gray spotted the self-driving Apple car with an iPhone-like roof in Sunnyvale, California. The tech giant has been using vehicles made by other carmakers as test beds for its self-driving system.
The iPhone-like roof has Apple’s design aesthetic
Louis Gray was walking down the road in Sunnyvale when he spotted the Apple self-driving car. Most of the self-driving components, sensors, cameras, and other equipment are packed in an iPhone-like box on the roof. Louis Gray says it’s an Apple car. If you had any doubts, the beautiful and minimalist aesthetics of the roof box should be enough to clear your doubts.
Louis wrote on Twitter, “Apple out here, delivering mattresses in Sunnyvale. Wonder how many Little Caesar pizzas we could put on top of their unit and feed families?”
About the Apple self-driving car
The Cupertino company started working on the autonomous driving car under the ‘Project Titan’ in 2014. It initially planned to make a full-fledged electric car with self-driving capabilities. Apple hired more than a thousand employees for the project in just a few short months. But the project has since faced leadership issues, internal strife, and technical challenges that come with building a new car.
After facing numerous hurdles, Apple laid off hundreds of employees. It shifted focus from building a full-fledged car to developing the autonomous driving systems first. Once it’s developed, Apple could license it to other automakers or choose to build its own car in partnership with an automaker.
In August 2018, Apple rehired Tesla engineer Doug Field, sparking speculations that it has revived the work on building the car. Reputed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities believes that the tech giant is still working on a self-driving car.
Kuo expects Apple to launch its own car between 2023 and 2025. He believes it will be Apple’s next star product after the iPhone. Whenever Apple launches it, we can be certain that it will be beyond the reach of most people.