Rumors of “Apple Car” a.k.a. “Project Titan” jumpstarting its production dates
Reuters exclusive story quoting a variety of unnamed sources appears to have some validity
Starting on Sunday December 20th rumors began to fly citing one source that claimed an Apple Car, long in R&D would burst on the scene in “late 2021”. That batch of speculative information came from a Taiwanese report from the Economic Daily News, where an “insider” claims that there has been a ramp up of supplies for the production of components for the Apple Car, with a launch potential for third quarter of 2021.
Then, on Monday, the Reuters story debuted with more realistic time frames and at least a few tidbits that appear plausible. The sources contributing to the story say that there is an Apple passenger vehicle in the works, under the long known codename “Titan” and that it will be aimed at the consumer market.
This is, in and of itself, if true, a significant fact as speculation has revolved around a possible retreat into a software only realm or a foray into self-driving systems for commercial use, for example.
Clearly an actual Car sold directly to consumers as an Apple branded product would be the most ambitions possible route into the space and also the most exciting.
Rather than the obviously crazy 2021 timeline, however, the new report indicates a far more realistic 2024 projected launch and even mentions the likelihood of an even longer timeline due to complications arising out of the pandemic.
Even at this early stage, innovative details are being leaked
Other details put forth by the various sources included a new battery design (Apple does have some experience in the battery production area) that could “radically” lower battery cost while at the same time increasing the range of the vehicles.
“Central to Apple’s strategy is a new battery design that could “radically” reduce the cost of batteries and increase the vehicle’s range, according to a third person who has seen Apple’s battery design.”—Reuters
The battery design, according to one source, is based on a “monocell” system which will “free up space inside the battery pack” by getting rid of pouches and modules that hold battery materials.
Based on this, and presumably other innovations, the car will have a longer range due to packing more active material inside the battery. LFP – lithium iron phosphate also may be used and would be inherently less likely to overheat and therefore be safer than traditional lithium-ion designs.
Other details revolved around “lidar sensors” which are both being used in various self-driving systems and, coincidentally, are also present in iPhone 12 models. The sources say that Apple is both reaching out to companies that specialize in lidar tech and also continuing R&D on its own sensor designs.
A project of this size and magnitude will surely engender more details and leaks going forward. Although seeing an Apple Car on the street may not be in the cards before 2024-2025 it is nevertheless a tantalizing idea to watch unfold, even if only via leaks and speculation at this point.
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