New Apple SUVs with humungous autonomous driving LIDAR system spotted

“Apple has had several Lexus SUVs equipped with sensors and cameras out on the road to test its self-driving software platform since April, but MacRumors reader Amy, who lives near one of Apple’s offices in Sunnyvale, California, recently spotted one of Apple’s Lexus SUVs with a new LIDAR setup,” Juli Clover reports for MacRumors.

“The vehicle has a different LIDAR arrangement than we’ve seen previously, with far more sensors and cameras at the top,” Clover reports. “Apple also appears to have added new Lexus models to its testing fleet. Prior vehicles spotted were 2015 Lexus 450h SUVs, while this vehicle is a 2016 or 2017 Lexus 450h with a new design.”

“There are two main LIDAR setups at the front and the back of the vehicle, each surrounded by four other components laden with sensors and cameras,” Clover reports. “The LIDAR systems on the car are designed to send out laser beams to allow the car to accurately detect its surroundings, essentially creating a 3D map of the environment around the vehicle.”

Read more, and see all of the photos, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re still of the mind that Apple wants to get the hard stuff (autonomous vehicle OS) done first and will wait do the easier stuff (vehicle hardware) later (based on if and when they succeed with the software).

Apple scales back its ambitions for a self-driving car – August 23, 2017
Apple’s ‘Project Titan’ remains as fuzzy as ever – June 14, 2017
Tim Cook says Apple is focusing on an autonomous car system; does not rule out making own vehicles – June 13, 201
How Apple is training testers for self-driving Apple Car – April 24, 2017
Apple permit reveals self-driving car testers include NASA roboticists – April 24, 2017
Apple + satellites = ? – April 22. 2017
Why Apple may be interested in space satellites – April 21, 2017
Apple’s self-driving car test program revealed in new document – April 21, 2017
Analyst: Apple ‘almost certainly’ exploring making a whole car but there’s a big challenge – April 18, 2017
Right now, the ‘Apple Car’ is a 2015 Lexus RX 450h SUV – April 17, 2017
Gene Munster on Apple Car: Exploration does not mean a product comes to market – April 17, 2017
Apple’s Project Titan: California makes it official – April 17, 2017
Why you should get your self-driving car from Apple – April 17, 2017
Apple secures permit to test autonomous vehicles – April 15, 2017
Apple’s letter to the U.S. NHTSA reveals 30-year Detroit veteran on its stealth ‘Project Titan’ team – December 8, 2016
Apple files patent for autonomous vehicle collision avoidance system – December 8, 2016
Apple letter all but confirms plans for self-driving cars and commitment to privacy – December 5, 2016
Apple drops hints about autonomous-vehicle project in letter to U.S. transportation regulators – December 3, 2016
It’s not McLaren Racing, but McLaren Applied Technologies, that’s the apple of Apple’s eye – September 23, 2016
Apple-target McLaren is a tech company disguised as a carmaker – September 22, 2016
Supercar-maker McLaren says not in discussion with Apple ‘in respect of any potential investment’ – September 22, 2016
Apple in talks to acquire British supercar maker McLaren – September 21, 2016
Apple in talks to acquire electric vehicle-maker Lit Motors – September 21, 2016


  1. LIDAR means:
    “lidar (noun)
    a measuring system that detects and locates objects on the same principle as radar but uses light from a laser; a potential technology for detecting air turbulence that can affect aircraft”?

    or something else? am asking.

          1. Sadly says all we need to know about Joe public that a damn Icon is more import in your response to what’s actually being said. How did humans ever actually form a worthwhile society I often wonder.

            1. Most people who downvote botvinnik are not doing so because of his icon. We are doing it because of everything he stands for, including his rude, caustic postings and his racist, bigoted thinking.

            2. The orange-faced, man baby traitor is the biggest snowflake in the country. It’s laughable and pathetic that right wing gits still use this as an insult.

        1. As usual, you got it totally backwards — again. It does not take much to trigger _you_. Your down votes are probably from the many enemies you have made with your insults, threats, put-downs, and generally disrespectful and insensitive comments, not to mention your bigoted thinking. Why should anyone you have shat upon give you an up vote? Most of us think you are a dick. Is that a surprise to you?

            1. “Linda”? Wow! The insight! The logic! What exercise of human faculties! We truly are the pinnacle of evolution. The Greek philosophers would be in awe of such a mind!

              He sure got you there, No surprise.

            2. John, botvinnik may come across as belligerent and insensitive, but he has a delicate sense of humour. I keep looking for that in the comments from other so-called trolls, and never finding it.

            3. Humour? Ah, okay. We’ll that’s all right then.

              Actually – no. He doesn’t “come across as” anything. He is insensitive.
              And any humour is about a relevant as a guy who is humourous as he punches his wife’s teeth in.

            4. It’s a little more complicated than that.

              botvinnik reminds me of W.C. Fields, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, and Henny Youngman. Dead. Just kidding!

              Experts say an obsession about insensitive comments may mask a serious medical condition—thin skin.

              Humour is a tease on cruelty: when the joke is on your enemy, it’s funny; when you are the joke, it’s not.

              Over the ages, societies have tried to regulate deviance and punish anyone who flouts convention. Societies secretly love flouters and hate nannies. Just read the tabloids.

    1. Lidar means light detection and ranging. It works by putting out a pulse, or photon, of light. The light hits whatever it hits – whether it’s an atmospheric phenomenon or a physical surface – and bounces back to the sensor, which then records the amount of time that it’s taken for that photon to return. This creates the 3D model for the environment around it moment by moment.

  2. The hardware on t o p of the car is, of course, huge because it is just for testing the software. If apple were to build this, it would be tiny and built into the car’s chassis.

    1. No you don’t say, talk about stating the bloody obvious, sorry I’m in a bad mood but let’s be clear what looks like a NASA deep space satellite arrangement is obvious to even an idiot not going to be the finished product years down the line.

            1. Dean? Did you just threaten me, Dean?
              Golly, gosh, gee whiz, Dean. All I’ve ever wanted was to sit by you, Dean, have a drink or five, Dean, and show you how much you mean to me. If it means that much to you, GeoB and Fisty can join in the fun. Dean.
              Whatever it takes, you sexy, sexy, Dean. 💋

            2. I’ve challenged belligerent asswipe before – to try his shit face to face:
              – The next time a cop pulls him over.
              – Against some irritated biker.
              – Or his boss.
              – Or with clients, if he has his own business.
              He’s a big brave boy here.

              Isn’t it profoundly pathetic that he thinks the depths of insult are to refer to someone as a woman? What a knuckle-dragger!

            3. you gonna whup muh ass, Cocoa Boy? …typical libtard “peace through violence” mentality. You get devastated in a debate, get obliterated in free elections and then resort to “masks and bicycle locks.”

              your ilk is in the process of being thrown into the dustbin of history, right next to The Muslim Usurper, where you both belong.

            4. The Plantation Party at work… The Party of Thugs, Lies and Violence:

              June 2016:

              – Protesters jumped on cars, stole hats, fought with and threw eggs at Trump supporters outside a Trump rally in downtown San Jose, Calif. Trump supporters sued San Jose over the violence.

              July 2016:

              -A Hillary Clinton supporter lights a flag on fire and attacks a Trump supporter in Pittsburgh.

              August 2016:

              -Anti-Trump protesters attacked pushed, spit on and verbally harassed attendees forced to walk a “gauntlet” as they left a Trump fundraiser in Minneapolis, Minn., and beat an elderly man. Protesters also attacked Trump’s motorcade.

              –A Tennessee man was assaulted at a garage sale for being a Trump supporter.

              -A Trump supporter in New Jersey was attacked with a crowbar on the street.

              September 2016:

              -Protesters in El Cajon, Calif., chased and beat up a Trump supporter.

              October 2016:

              -A GOP office in North Carolina was firebombed and spray painted with “Nazi Republicans get out of town or else.”

              November 2016:

              -A high school student was attacked after she wrote that she supported Trump on social media. The perpetrator ripped her glasses off and punched her in the face.

              -The president of Cornell University’s College Republicans was assaulted the night after Trump won the election.

              -Students protesting Trump punched and kicked a Maryland high school student wearing a Make America Great Again hat.

              -A high school student was arrested in Florida after he punched a classmate for carrying a Trump sign at school.

              -A group of black men in Chicago attacked a white man while raging against Trump.

              -Maryland high school students punched a student who was demonstrating in support of Trump, and then kicked him repeatedly while he was on the ground.

              -“You support Trump. You hate Mexicans,” a California high school student yelled at a Trump supporter, before viciously beating the girl.

              -An anti-bullying ambassador was arrested for shoving a 74-year-old man to the ground in a fight outside Trump tower where people upset over his win had gathered. The woman tied to Black Lives Matter caused the man to hit his head on the sidewalk.

              -A Texas elementary school student was beaten by his classmates for voting for Trump in a mock election.

              -Two men punched and kicked a Connecticut man who was standing with an American flag and a Trump sign.

              December 2016:

              -A Trump supporter was beaten and dragged by a car.

              January 2017:

              -A Trump supporter was knocked unconscious after airport protesters repeatedly beat him on the head.

              -A Trump supporter was attacked after putting out a fire started by anti-Trump protesters.

              -When Trump protesters encountered a driver with a pro-Trump flag on his car, they surrounded the vehicle, ripped off and began burning the flag, and pounded the car. They also punctured the tires.

              February 2017:

              -California GOP Rep. Tom McClintock had to be escorted to his car after a town hall because of angry protesters. The tires of at least four vehicles were slashed.

              -Protestors knocked a 71-year-old female staffer for California GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher unconscious during a protest outside the representative’s office.

              -Milo Yiannopoulos speech at the University of California-Berkeley was cancelled after rioters set the campus on fire and threw rocks through windows. Milo tweeted that one of his supporters wearing a Trump hat was thrown to the ground and kicked.

              March 2017:

              -Masked protesters at Middlebury College rushed AEI scholar and political scientist Charles Murray and professor Allison Stranger, pushing and shoving Murray and grabbing Stranger by her hair and twisting her neck as they were leaving a campus building. Stranger suffered a concussion. Protesters then surrounded the car they got into, rocking it back and forth and jumping on the hood.

              April 2017:

              -A parade in Portland, Ore.,was canceled after threats of violence were made against a Republican organization.

              -Fears of violent protests shut down Ann Coulter’s UC Berkeley speech. Campus police had gathered intel on protesters who were planning to commit violence.

              May 2017:

              – Republican Rep. Tom Garrett, his family and his dog were targeted by a series of repeated death threats deemed credible by authorities.

              -FBI agents arrested a person for threatening to shoot Republican Rep. Martha McSally over her support for Trump.

              -Police in Tennessee charged a woman for allegedly trying to run Republican Rep. David Kustoff off the road.

              -Police in North Dakota ejected a man after he became physical with Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer at a town hall.

              -A former professor was arrested after police said they identified him on video beating Trump supporters with a U-shaped bike lock, leaving three people with “significant injuries.”

              June 2017:

              -James Hodgkinson opened fire on a congressional GOP baseball practice, injuring five, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

              -Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney received an email threat that read, “One down, 216 to go,” shortly after the shooting at the Republican congressional baseball practice.

              -A man driving a white Malibu reportedly fired several shots at a man driving a truck displaying a “Make America Great Again” flag in Indiana.

            5. You sure are one pathetic, shrivel-hearted piece of shit, belligerent asswipe. Sooooo much hatred — almost every post — and certainly for anyone who has the SLIGHTEST disagreement with your opinion on ANYTHING. Senility? Mental disorder? Or just what we used to call “fucking jerk”, in the days before everything was a disease?

            6. Not much self-awareness there, belligerent asswipe. Please go review your last 500 posts and count up how many contain insults, name-calling, put-downs and any other forms of your petty vitriol.

  3. I’m convinced. Those don’t look like cameras on top used to further develop Apple Maps (unlike the Apple vans from about two years ago that WERE used for Apple Maps, despite all the Apple self-driving car rumor mongering).

    The gear on the car ‘looks’ like overkill. But I expect the point is to know everything ‘knowable’ by a vehicle, then compress and reduce the required input from there.

    How well would that gadgetry do in a snow storm in New York? Or how about a tropical storm in Florida? Considering that the gear is NOT using visual imagery, it’s a step well beyond the likely success rate of Google auto-gear, that spinning camera rubbish they’ve used for years. Instead, it’s using more penetrating EM (electromagnetic) image input. It’s not perfect, but it’s better.

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