Rumors have abounded over the last two months concerning a foray by Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) into self-driving car manufacturing. It now appears the rumors could have some merit. What Happened: Cupertino is in active discussions with several suppliers to procure the lidar technology that is used in self-driving vehicles, according to Bloomberg. Automotive lidar, or light image, detection and ranging, is a technology that uses sensors to emit invisible laser lights to scan and detect objects in the vicinity and create a 3D image of the surroundings on a display screen. After working on the Apple Car project for several years, Apple has now developed most of the necessary software, underlying processors and artificial intelligence algorithms that are needed, the Bloomberg report said, citing people familiar with the matter. Related Link: 10 Things Apple Investors May Wish For In 2021 Apple is reportedly planning to outsource critical hardware components for the self-driving car project from external vendors, just as it has done with its flagship product, the iPhone. Although the tech giant is yet to zero in on a supplier, it is contemplating options, including a heavily customized version of the sensors, the report said. Reacting to speculation, publicly listed lidar suppliers such as Velodyne Lidar Inc (NASDAQ: VLDR) and Luminar Technologies Inc (NASDAQ: LAZR) were trading higher Friday. Why It’s Important: EVs are considered the future in mobility, and this has prompted even traditional automakers to plunge headlong into these green energy vehicles. It therefore comes as a no surprise that Apple Car project is picking up steam after being in the works for several years now. Apple’s products are known for their disruptive potential. Additionally, the company’s design focus could make its EV offering an exciting one, despite it being late to the party. Apple is also rumored to be talking with multiple partners for its self-driving car project. Most recently, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said the company could zero in on a partnership as early as this year. AAPL Price Action: Apple shares gained 0.12% Friday, closing at $129.87. Related Link: Apple Is Better Off With Cryptocurrencies Than EVs: Analyst See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaWhy Wedbush Expects Apple To Find An EV Partner In 2021Apple Could Launch Foldable Phone With Apple Pen In 2023: Report© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.