Apple’s efforts to get into the self-driving car industry have been shrouded in layers of mystery and speculation for years. But at long last, physical proof that a car does indeed exist has been spotted the wild, after Apple took its autonomous driving tech out for a spin on California streets this week.
Twitter user MacCallister Higgins — who also happens to be the cofounder of a self-driving startup called Voyage — posted video of what he calls “The Thing” yesterday.
Another user replied to his thread, noting another recent sighting:
The somewhat clunky hardware — featuring six lidar sensors, several radar units, and a bunch of white cameras encased in white plastic — is mounted atop a Lexus SUV. Part of the reason the setup may seem large is that the compute stack could be located inside the roof unit, Higgins suggests in the Tweet’s thread. Other self-driving cars often put that technology in the trunk.
After major staffing shakeups in its Project Titan project in 2016, Apple was approved last April to start testing autonomous vehicles in California.