The future of Apple’s autonomous car project may be uncertain, but according to an article on the site of 9to5mac.com, the company is at least still dabbling in the technology. The article noted 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, which the company has said includes LiDAR, radar, and cameras. But when a video of the new sensor configuration of Apple’s autonomous cars surfaced, indications are that no LiDAR was involved, and the array was an all-camera setup, according to the article. Any LiDAR devices would likely be hidden if they exist.
LiDAR is highly accurate, but the technology is also expensive which has been a hurdle to companies. According to the article, Apple has reportedly been working 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.”
One key electric vehicle manufacturer, Tesla, is convinced that all-camera setups are the future of self-driving cars, because they 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 been openly critical of LiDAR.