Here’s What Apple’s Secretive Self-Driving Car Looks Like (It’s Ugly)
Apple is still plugging away on its self-driving car experiment, Project Titan. We haven’t seen a ton about it so far, but we know what its sensor rig looks like, and hoo boy, it’s big:
Going to need more than 140 characters to go over 🍎's Project Titan. I call it "The Thing" pic.twitter.com/sLDJd7iYSa
— MacCallister Higgins (@macjshiggins) October 17, 2017
The rig holds 6 LIDAR sensors, which obtain spacial data for the self-driving software:
Lidar comprises a series of rotating, stacked lasers that shoot out at different angles. Each layer is called a channel, and is made up of two laser beams. The signal from each individual channel creates one contour line, and together, those lines generate a 3-D image of the surrounding environment. That means that, the more lasers in each stack, the higher the resolution. Velodyne, for instance, manufactures products with 16, 32 and 64 laser channels.
LIDAR sensors can run up to $50k apiece, so that rig is no cheap piece of equipment.
It’s tough to say when Apple will unveil what its self-driving software is capable of, but it has the permits to test the technology on public roads in California, so progress is being made.