We have another self-driving Apple car sighting, and this one's not exactly a lean, mean autonomous machine.
As spotted by The Verge, the footage of this latest Apple car comes from MacAllister Higgins who posted a 10-second clip of the self-driving car on Twitter. What we see is a Lexus SUV, with a pretty bulky looking rig on top.
This new, bulkier look is quite a bit different from the last time we saw a self-driving Apple car out in the wild. That vehicle, while also a Lexus SUV, featured a much more slender rig on top.
Because Higgins isn't a disinterested observer — he's the co-founder of Voyage, which builds self-driving taxis — it's worth diving into his subsequent tweets for more details on what he spotted. That rig on top features six LIDAR sensors, which gather up 3D data to help autonomously pilot the car. Higgins speculates the sensors have a 280-degree field of view.
The roof-based rig also likely houses the car's compute stack, Higgins tweets, which could explain the extra size when compared to the earlier version of Apple's self-driving car spotted this past spring.
Apple has made no secret that it's interested in self-driving cars. Back in April, it received permission from the state of California to test self-driving cars.
Don't take that to mean Apple plans to build its own self-driving car, though, as had reportedly been the focus of its long-rumored Project Titan efforts. That project has gone through so many iterations that it's hard to pinpoint just what the rumored focus is at this point, but the general assumption is that Apple is working on software for operating autonomous cars, possibly in connection with a future version of its CarPlay connected car offering.
Since Apple doesn't comment on rumors, we're not holding our breath waiting for Apple to explain just what its up to with that self-driving SUV and its super-sized rig. But it's always intriguing to get even the slightest visual hints as to what's cooking in Cupertino.