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Apple in talks with suppliers for self-driving car sensors
Apple might still be interested in building autonomous cars.
It has been a few years since Apple has shown interest in building an autonomous car. But a new Reuters suggests that the company still hasn't given up on the plans. The company is reportedly in talks with a number of companies that deal in next-generation lidar sensors, a technology that makes vehicles aware of their surroundings.
The Cupertino-based technology giant is said to have had discussion with at least four companies for the lidar sensor, which offer a 3D look at objects on the road. Moreover, Apple is itself working on building these lidar sensor, a report suggests. However, buying the sensors from a third-party might be cost -effective for the company.
Since the company's interest in lidar sensors is real, it indicates that it might not have dropped the idea for a autonomous vehicle altogether. The company was reportedly building a self-driving car under its Project Titan, but very little has been materialized.
Back in 2017, a New York Times report said Apple has dropped its plans and moved away from building a self-driving car. Something might have sparked the company's interest again. It's likely that Apple is considering to build autonomous vehicle hardware which can be used by other car makers.
Besides, another Apple patent shows that wants to spread the technology to the automotive industry and replace the car keys. The application was filed in 2017 but was published in February 2019.
The patent shows a "system and method for vehicle authorization" that lets users lock or unlock cars using biometric authentication techs such as like TouchID or FaceID. This could be done via an iPhone. The system would detect the user's device as they approach the vehicle.