Admittedly, it’s just standing there, not doing what it’s supposed to do – which is to drive itself. But any sighting of a future Apple product in the wild evokes wild excitement in our world.
So it was with this video of Apple’s Project Titan, the self-driving car. Intriguingly, the full arsenal of hardware is on display, perched in somewhat ungainly manner on the roof of the car.
There appears to be a complex assemblage of sensors, including cameras and radar units. MacCallister Higgins, a co-founder of self-driving startup Voyage, posted the video on Twitter. Side-note, Voyage itself has just kick-started its ride-hailing project in a San Jose retirement community.
Higgins joked about Apple’s vehicle, calling it “The Thing,” possibly referring to the bulky setup with the sensors. This is noticeably different from its competitor, Waymo’s self-driving minivan, which has managed to minimise its sensors.
But then, knowing Apple’s design sensibilities, perhaps the final product won’t look the opposite of sleek, as this one does.
Apple generated a buzz earlier this year when it received a permit to test its autonomous vehicles in California. It has been confirmed that Apple isn’t building new vehicles from scratch, but is working instead on autonomous software to help existing carmakers.
“What we’re focusing on – what we’ve talked about focusing on publicly – is we’re focusing on autonomous systems. And clearly one purpose of autonomous systems is self-driving cars. There are others, and we sorta see it as the mother of all AI projects. It’s probably one of the most difficult AI projects, actually, to work on. And so autonomy is something that’s incredible exciting for us, but we’ll see where it takes us,” CEO Tim Cook said in an interview in June.