Apple seeks next-gen Lidar sensors for possible Apple Car

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Apple's Car
Coming soon to a road near you? Maybe.
Photo: Aristomenis Tsirbas/Freelancer

Apple is reportedly in talks with Lidar makers regarding sensors that could be used for its Apple Car initiative.

A commonly used surveying tool, Lidar measures distances between objects. It works by firing a pulsed laser light, then measuring how long it takes to bounce back. While not exclusively used in self-driving cars, that’s the application the technology is most synonymous with.

Sketchy rumor claims Apple is making an electric minibus

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VW van
Apple reportedly wants to get into the minivan business.
Photo: VW

Apple’s long-rumored self-driving car project might not churn out a car at all. Instead, it might just be an electric minibus.

According to a sketchy new rumor, Apple engineers have supposedly created a new minibus, which should be able to drive autonomously, if it ever hits the road.

Apple’s self-driving car project isn’t quite ready for prime time

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Apple car
Apple Car still needs some improvement.
Photo: Aristomenis Tsirbas/Freelancer

Apple’s autonomous car project is certainly exciting for Apple fans. It’s likely to be a while longer before the company is ready to officially launch what it’s been working on, however.

That’s according to a new “Disengagement Report” which covers the period December 2017 through November 2018. It refers to instances in which self-driving vehicles being tested on California roads had to pass control back to the human driver behind the wheel.

Apple may hit the brakes on autonomous vehicle program

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Project Titan
Apple’s test vehicles from its self-driving car project could be headed for the highway exit.
Photo: Idiggapple/Twitter

Apple’s self-driving car development could be headed for a cliff. Maybe. A questionable report from industry analysts says that there are layoffs in this division and the whole project might even be scrapped.

The cause is supposedly the slowdown in iPhone sales caused by the weakening Chinese economy. The reduction in revenue leaves less room for non-core programs.

Apple’s latest self-driving car crash is just another fender bender

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Apple car
Why are Waymo's self-driving cars involved in so many more crashes than Apple's?
Photo: Aristomenis Tsirbas/Freelancer

A car designed to test Apple’s self-driving system was involved in a minor accident Monday, but a human was driving at the time. This is only the second such crash of an Apple car on record.

Google, and its autonomous vehicle spinoff Waymo, haven’t been so lucky over the years.

Apple’s self-driving car fleet lags behind Waymo and GM

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Apple Car
Apple's Lexus is decked out in sensors.
Photo: Bloomberg

Apple’s fleet of self-driving cars is expanding at an astonishing pace after starting with just three vehicles a year ago.

New records posted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles reveals that Apple currently has the third largest number of autonomous cars in the state, but it’s closing the gap on the Google’s self-driving car project that holds the number two spot.

Former Tesla VP returns home to work on Apple Car

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Apple car
The Apple Car project just got another valued team member.
Photo: Aristomenis Tsirbas/Freelancer

Doug Field, a former Vice President of Mac Hardware Engineering at Apple, has returned to the company after spending several years at Tesla.

The interesting part? At Tesla, Field was employed as the Vice President of Vehicle Programs with a role overseeing development of new electric vehicles for the company. Now that he is back at Apple, he is reportedly working as part of the “Project Titan” Apple Car group.

Ex-employee accused of stealing Apple Car plans pleads not guilty

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Apple's Car
Xiaolang Zhang is being charged with stealing trade secrets.
Photo: Aristomenis Tsirbas/Freelancer

The former Apple employee arrested for allegedly stealing plans for the Apple Car has pleaded not guilty to his charge.

Xiaolang Zhang was indicted on one single charge of trade secret theft. He’s accused of stealing a 25-page blueprint for a circuit board for Apple’s autonomous vehicle.

Ex-Apple employee arrested for stealing Apple Car secrets

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Apple car
Apple constantly faces the threat of industrial espionage.
Photo: Aristomenis Tsirbas/Freelancer

An Apple employee who downloaded blueprints for its self-driving car circuit board and then attempted to flee with them to China has been arrested.

Xiaolang Zhang supposedly told Apple of his plans to join a Chinese self-driving car startup, Xiaopeng Motors, shortly before booking his flight. He was arrested on July 7 after going through the security gates at San Jose airport.