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Apple is Working Towards A Fully Self Driving Car by 2025

Apple Inc is pushing its engineering team to ramp up the speed of development of its fully-self driving car. New leader, Kevin Lynch is pushing for a car with a full self-driving system. Tesla Inc., the market leader in electric vehicles, is still probably years away from offering fully autonomous cars. Apple (AAPL) shares gained as much as 2.4% to $157.23 after Bloomberg reported the news.

Two months ago, the former head of the team, Doug Field, left for a job at Ford Motor Co. after three years at Apple Inc. In picking Lynch as his replacement, Apple went with an internal executive who isn’t a car veteran.

Apple is targeting a launch of its self-driving car in 2025, faster than the seven-year timeline that some engineers had been planning for earlier this year. If Apple is unable to reach its goal, they are likely to either delay a release or initially sell a car with lesser technology.

Apple’s infotainment system is likely to be a large iPad-like touch screen in would be in the middle of the vehicle. The car would also be heavily integrated with Apple’s existing services and devices. Internally, the company is pushing to not have a standard steering wheel, Apple has discussed equipping the car with an emergency takeover mode.

Apple believes it has completed much of the core work on the processor it intends to eventually ship in the first generation of the car. The chip was designed by Apple’s silicon engineering group -- who also developed the processors for the iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Apple plans to start using the new processor design and updated self-driving sensors in retrofitted cars that it’s spent years testing in California. The company currently has a fleet of 69 Lexus SUVs experimenting with its technology, according to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

Lynch is a software manager without car hardware or autonomous experience, but former Tesla executives on the project - including Michael Schwekutsch and Stuart Bowers - have key roles. Apple also hired Ulrich Kranz earlier this year who previously led Canoo and helped oversee the development of BMW’s electric cars.

Can the previous Apple-watch leader bring glory to Apple’s Next Big Thing?

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