Apple has set an internal target of 2024 to launch an electric vehicle with lidar-based autonomous systems, according to a report from Reuters based on anonymous sources.
The Reuters sources expect that Apple will work with external manufacturers to assemble the vehicle and procure lidar sensors, though the battery architecture and autonomous software would be developed in-house. One source further stipulated that Apple intends to use its "monocell" battery architecture to achieve a smaller form factor and extended range over existing battery technology.
Apple flirted with the idea of developing an electric vehicle in 2014, but scaled back its ambitions in 2016 over feasibility concerns, according to Bloomberg. In 2018, Apple poached lead engineer Doug Field from Tesla to join Project Titan, as the autonomous car program is called, signaling that it would once again attempt to design vehicle components rather than just the autonomous-driving software systems. In the beginning of December, Bloomberg reported yet another leadership shakeup within Project Titan as the team run by Doug Field would be overseen by Apple's top AI executive, John Giannandrea.