The self-driving car technology of Apple, codenamed Project Titan, was reportedly spotted in the streets of Silicon Valley, but it looks very weird compared to the driverless car projects of other tech giants such as Alphabet's Waymo.
Earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook pulled back the curtains a bit for the company's self-driving car project, confirming that Apple was working on autonomous vehicle technology that it considers as "the mother of all AI projects." It now appears that Apple is making good progress on the technology's development, as it is now driving through California.
Apple Self-Driving Car Technology Spotted In The Wild
A video tweeted by MacCallister Higgins took a close look at what appears to be an array of sensors on a rack attached to the roof of a Lexus RX. Importantly, the Lexus RX was the model of the three vehicles covered by the permit that Apple received from the California DMV to test self-driving cars.
Fortunately, Higgins knew what exactly he saw and why it was so important to capture it on video. He is the cofounder of self-driving car startup Voyage, and Higgins was convinced that what he saw in the streets of Sunnyvale was Apple's driverless vehicle technology in action.
The sensors that were spotted on top of the Lexus RX were covered in white plastic reminiscent of Apple's designs. There were a lot of different types of sensors on the rack, including six Velodyne LiDar sensors, tweeted Higgins, who added that the Velodyne sensors looked like they were only able to capture 280 degrees of data instead of the 360 degrees of data that they usually take on other self-driving cars.
LiDar technology is used by cameras that are capable of sensing depth and is considered as an important part in all self-driving car technology, as they help the system determine the vehicle's surroundings. Interestingly, Apple has decided to place the LiDar sensors and all others, on the roof of the Lexus RX, whereas most other companies have fitted the sensors of their respective self-driving car systems in the trunks of the vehicles.
The Future Of Project Titan
There have been a lot of Project Titan problems in the past, which has likely changed and shaped the development of Apple's self-driving car project. The most recent look at the technology, however, hints that Apple may be taking the project to consumer-friendly direction.
The design of the rack of sensors, as noted by TechCrunch, does not require much modification, if any at all, for vehicles to carry the technology. This would make it easy for Apple to test the system on other vehicles and could even mean that the technology is being developed as an accessory that customers can simply add on to their vehicles to make them autonomous.