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Bloomberg: Apple searches for next-generation LiDAR self-driving car supplier



As we continue to learn more about Apple Car’s progress, some fresh things have been shared today in a Bloomberg report. Apple is working on the important step of finding a groundbreaking supplier of LiDAR sensors that will be the key to the autonomous aspect of the company’s electric vehicles.

In the latest Apple Car update, Bloomberg’s report states that the company is in active talks with a number of potential suppliers for these laser-based sensors that allow the car’s computer to “see” the surroundings, according to anonymous sources.

Like many of the other players in the autonomous vehicle area such as Google̵

7;s Waymo and GM’s Cruise, Apple plans to use a LiDAR approach. In particular, Tesla believes that the answer is a camera-based / data vision system that includes AI training with large amounts of data from customers. Going on the LiDAR route, Apple, Waymo, GM Cruise and more, will depend on HD LiDAR maps being created for the systems to work towards full autonomy.

Bloomberg notes that around six LiDAR companies have “been announced via reverse merger in recent months”, so Apple probably has a good amount of research to do. Apple has already used off-the-shelf LiDAR components for its current fleet that has tested self-propelled.

But the suppliers it is in active talks with now are expected to offer “the next generation lidar that will be considered groundbreaking in four to five years from now.” That hardware should end up being a little less bulky than the LiDAR we’ve seen on Apple’s self-driving Lexus SUVs (shown above).

Bloomberg notes Apple’s LiDAR goal is another hint on the timeline the company aims to produce with its autonomous electric vehicle. Earlier, the publication said that Apple Car could arrive around 2025, similar to Reuters. But Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that it may come so late in 2028.

Over the past month, we’re seen a stream of rumors about carmakers Apple is in talks with to produce its autonomous EV. Most recently, Bloomberg rounded up a number of companies Apple may end up partnering with:

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