Secret Apple Car Spotted In Testing Helped By Lexus?

MacCallister Higgins, founder of autonomous auto startup Voyage, got a close look at what appears to be one of Apple's test cars that was stopped at an intersection on a California street and posted a video of it to Twitter.

Higgins is more than just a casual Apple fan, however - he's a robotics engineer and happens to be a co-founder of Voyage, a self-driving startup that recently launched its own pilot program in San Jose. Apple's self-driving cars will reportedly be used for an internal company shuttle to bring employees from one building to another.

Apple reportedly dropped the idea of making an entire driverless vehicle from scratch nearly a year ago.

In 2016, Apple reportedly drastically scaled back its auto ambitions, codenamed "Project Titan", from building a complete vehicle to focusing on the self-driving component.

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At first glance, there is something strikingly Apple about the whole design of the sensor array captured on video by Higgins. The rig appears to be outfitted with six LIDAR sensors, along with a slew of cameras and radar units. Neither Apple nor Lexus have responded to our requests for comment.

Project Titan's last sighting before Wednesday was back in April when the crossover sported all third-party sensors and components. Video allows us to consider that his system with radars and 12 madarame. According to Higgins, the large rooftop hardware probably contains "the majority of the compute stack", which makes it different from most self-driving cars that would usually house this hardware within their trunks. Protected by the white shell on top of the SUV, the mount could also have been created to house and hide the cables that run from the computers to the sensors and vice versa. He claims he snapped the photo at one of the company's campus shuttle stops, which would make it all the more likely that the vehicle is one of the three test cars.

Apple's Project Titan may have hit a few rough patches over the years, but the tech giant isn't giving up on automated transportation. It remains to be seen what the company can come up with that is both competitive and innovative.

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