Apple autonomous car spotted with new sensors, possibly all-camera, no LiDAR – 9to5Mac
While the purpose and future of Apple’sautonomous car projectis uncertain, the company clearly still has an interest in the technology. What appears to be an Apple self-driving car has been spotted, with an interesting new sensor array…
Apple’s self-driving cars have so far used a mix of sensors, whichthe company has saidincludes LiDAR, radar, and cameras.
LiDAR is similar to radar but uses laser pulses. A lot of autonomous cars have used LiDAR as their primary means of reading the road, as it provides the on-board computers with a highly-detailed 3D map of the car’s surroundings. This provides centimeter resolution over distances of up to 100 meters. Google cars can detect a cyclist hand signal, and it’s been reported that Waymo’s cars can even tell which direction pedestrians are facing so that their likely movements can be predicted.
However, LiDAR is very expensive. Apple has reportedly beenworking on its own LiDAR array, as well as talking to suppliers about the possibility of developing units that are “cheaper, smaller, and more easily mass produced.”
Tesla, however, is convinced that all-camera setups are the future of self-driving cars. These are less prone to interference from rain and snow, and can also read signs to provide a more detailed understanding of the environment. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has even said that any manufacturer relying on LiDAR for self-driving cars is doomed (video below).
The new Apple autonomous car
The Last Driver License Holderhas posted photos of a new version of the sensor array.
After the firstvideoof the new sensor configuration of Apple’s autonomous cars surfaced, we got new pictures from a closer perspective. Our readers Jens & Katharina Lehmann spotted the vehicle in Cupertino, California.
The array is a neater setup than the original. With the sensors embedded in this way, it’s harder to see exactly what’s in the array. However, there are no obvious LiDAR devices, and it does look possible that this is an all-camera setup. It would seem to make sense for Apple to experiment with a camera-only configuration. It is, though, also possible that there are hidden LiDAR units next to the corner cameras.
Check out the full set of photoshere.
About the Author
Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!
Ben Lovejoy’s favorite gear
* You will receive the latest news and updates from Business Magazine!
The young face of a brutal war
This week the BBC released new research on the conflict in Afghanistan – tracing every conflict-related death in the month of August. According to the data that was gathered, on average, more than a dozen civilians died every day. The BBC spent a month visiting one of the country’s busiest hospitals in the southern city…
Austria blocks EU’s trade deal with South America
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Agriculture groups were among the first to object to the EU deal, before fires in the Amazon rainforest drew global attention MPs in Austria have dealt a blow to the EU’s landmark trade deal with South America’s economic bloc, by demanding a government veto on the deal.The draft free…