In a recent report today, a sensor-laden Lexus RX450h was spotted leaving an Apple facility in Silicon Valley and all signs point to this being the latest mule for Apple's autonomous car tests. In recent months, Apple is said to have narrowed the scope of Project Titan to work more closely on autonomous vehicle tech.
The California Department of Motor gave Apple a clearance to bring off trials with three vehicles earlier this month. Apple's so-called ''Project Titan'', the autonomous car project is only known internally, has withstood a difficult 12 months since Apple exec Bob Mansfield took over its leadership last year. Mansfield reigned in the project's goals to focus on developing autonomous driving tech before Apple decides about building its own car. Before the strategy shift, Apple held talks about licensing its technology to car manufacturers which include Volkswagen AG and BMW AG.
According to a source, Lexus was spotted wearing a host of radar sensors, cameras and Velodyne's most gorgeous, 64-channel, 360-degree 3D LiDAR sensor mounted on top of the roof rack, an off-the-shelf loadout of parts. While Apple has yet to comment on its self-driving car efforts, these pictures offer the first look at its initiative. Apple isn't the only company using Lexus SUVs to test self-driving efforts, as it's something Google is doing as well. Though, Google also has a partnership with Chrysler for its electric minivans.
While Apple has remained very silent about its work on the project, numerous bits of information claim that Apple is looking at a 2020 debut on what it's working on. Furthermore, It's still uncertain whether Apple actually intends to create a self-driving car or a self-driving platform. As reports suggest, Alphabet's Waymo is also using the same Lexus SUVs for testing autonomous car.