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Apple in Talks to Buy Self-Driving Sensors, Key Step in Car Plan

  • Vetting of laser sensor vendors is developmental milestone
  • iPhone maker has several years of work ahead on autonomous car
Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg
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Apple Inc. is in discussions with multiple suppliers of self-driving car sensors known as lidar, according to people familiar with the matter, a key milestone toward development of its first passenger vehicle.

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is in active talks with a number of potential suppliers for these laser-based sensors that allow a car’s computer to “see” its surroundings, said the people, who asked not to be identified due to the private nature of the discussions. The company has been working on a driverless vehicle project for several years and has developed on its own most of the necessary software, underlying processors and artificial intelligence algorithms needed for such a sophisticated system.