Apple began working on its Apple Car project back in 2014. Over the years, the project has gone through multiple phases. While some rumors have suggested that Apple had abandoned any plans to build a full car, focusing instead on software. However, it is now apparent that Apple is aiming to build an entire vehicle.
Bloomberg says Apple worked on two vehicle paths, one with limited self-driving capabilities and a second with full self-driving functionality that does not require human intervention. The company is now pursuing the second path under the leadership of Kevin Lynch, who joined the project earlier this year.
Apple has the core work on the chip that will power the first car.
The Apple car chip is the most advanced component that Apple has developed internally and is made up primarily of neural processors that can handle the artificial intelligence needed for autonomous driving. The chip’s capabilities mean it will run hot and likely require the development of a sophisticated cooling system.
The hope is to develop a vehicle that can spare customers from driving fatigue when they’re on long trips. But building an actual car – for an auto industry outsider like Apple – will require partnerships. The company has discussed deals with multiple manufacturers and has considered potentially building the vehicle in the U.S.
Apple is working to design a car with no steering wheel or pedals. The Bloomberg report says Apple is considering a design similar to the Lifestyle Vehicle from Canoo. In that car, passengers sit along the sides of the vehicle and face each other like they would in a limousine.
Apple is reportedly looking to launch its car in four years, which means it may debut in 2025.