Apple Inc, the tech giant known for its iPhones is now planning to launch its own Apple car that is expected to arrive by 2024 with a breakthrough battery technology that the company describes as ‘next level’. Apple's 'Project Titan' was incepted to develop company's own car but was later changed to develop an autonomous driving system. This news comes a few days after reports suggesting a few internal executive shuffles had surfaced.
Longtime Apple Veteran Bob Mansfield who was brought back after retirement to run the Skunkworks units had retired for good and the new executive at the helm of the project was John Giannandrea. Following the same, Reuters has now reported that Apple is strategizing a unique battery technology that would radically reduce the cost of batteries.
At the moment, the cost of batteries makes up for the majority of the manufacturing cost of an electric vehicle. While the details are still blurry, even for a company like Apple, reaching mass-scale manufacturing levels for vehicles is a challenge. The company in the hands of Tim Cook is popular for its supply chain management after a major overhaul that happened in the 90s.
The manufacturer’s global footprint also allows it to achieve things that most companies can’t afford. However, it took Elon Musk 17 years to make Tesla a self-sustaining profitable business. Apple is most likely to leverage its ODM partners to manufacture the car. In an off-chance that the company decided to ditch the idea of debuting their own Apple car, it would go back to deploying autonomous driving systems in traditional cars.
The US-based manufacturer has worked out several elements of this system including its own LiDAR system that grants 360-degree spatial awareness that it could be using in the Apple Car. The same sensors scan different distances and speculations suggest that it has a common thread with the tech that the company had rolled out in 2020 with the iPad and the iPhone 12 Pro models.
Speaking of the battery technology, Reuters reports that the unit will bulk individual cells in the battery and frees up space inside the battery pack by eliminating pouches and modules that hold battery materials. This design is said to enable more active material to be packed inside the battery, giving the car a longer range theoretically. Apple is also looking at lithium iron phosphate which is also less likely to overheat as the lithium-ion batteries.
Ahead of this Apple was in talks with Magna international for manufacturing the car but the talks didn't come to any conclusive fruition. Magna instead helped Sony unveil its smart car last year at CES. Apple's challenge could be simply one of volume — which even for a company like Apple would be a daunting and financially taxing task.
[News Source - Reuters]