It has long been confirmed that Apple was involved in a autonomous car project . But even so, the mystery remains, and that is that we hardly know any information about the Titan project, code name by which it is known. Even so, from time to time we receive some curious information or photos …
A new Lexus car with Apple’s autonomous driving system comes into view
Apparently, Cupertino’s boys would be using Lexus cars for their tests, specifically from the SUV range. So if you see a car of that make with weird junk in it, it might be a test car from the big apple company. It’s hard to see them, though, if it’s not in Sunnyvale , California, which is where the offices dedicated to the Titan project and research into autonomous driving systems are supposed to be.
And it’s right in that California town, Sunnyvale, where the following pictures were taken. By the design of the car, we can find out that the car in these is a Lexus 450h from 2016 or 2017 . This would be the first time that we see an Apple test car of this model, because until now we had only seen models from 2015. And what does this mean? Simply that Apple has increased the number of cars in its fleet of testing cars .
MacRumors image of Apple’s new test car: a 2016 or 2017 Lexus 450h SUV (you can’t see the specific model in the photos).
New LIDAR sensors in the autonomous car
Leaving aside the fact that this is a company car from the Big Apple never seen before, you have to look at the two LIDAR devices at the top.
This is the first time we’ve seen an Apple standalone car with this layout. Still, the purpose of the proximity sensors (the yellow ones), the GPS and the two LIDAR (on top) seems clear: greater reliability and security. In this way, each of the three elements will be key, and will share information to achieve a robust system.
Front of Apple’s new autonomous car seen this week.
But what are LIDAR and what are they for? The LIDAR are devices with a “similar” operation as a radar. They emit a light that will bounce off objects, thus returning to the device itself. This will form a 3D image of the area in which the car is located. This 3D map will be very useful for the software to know where there are obstacles. In addition, a set of cameras , which would have the functionality to detect other cars or people, are also incorporated into the same chassis.
On the other hand, the yellow sensors that you see on the sides would not be anything new, as many current cars already have them. These are proximity sensors, and normally their main function would be to assist when parking. But in this case, it is a more precise device than LIDAR when working with short distances , so it is a very helpful device to avoid collisions with cars, objects or people. Finally, the main function of the GPS would be to locate the car in order to know the route to be taken.
Rear of the Apple autonomous car seen this week.
As you can see, the car seen this week is loaded with sensors and devices that provide a lot of information to the software being developed by Apple for autonomous driving. But don’t let anyone be scared, this is far from being a definitive version , far from it, we are still far from seeing a preliminary version. So, don’t panic, Apple will not start selling cars with this look so … horrific and crazy …
Finally, one last detail. Have you noticed the people inside the car? Although the car is not supposed to require a driver, the tests are always done with one person sitting in the driver’s seat for legal and safety reasons.
Until these cars come into our lives, we will have to make do with the iPhone car accessories that offer us the possibility of always having our mobile phone in sight and using it as a GPS.
What do you think? Where do you think Apple intends to go with its Titan project and its autonomous car? When do you think they will officially confirm the project and show us its status?