As you've probably heard, there has been a lot of speculation lately about Apple working on its own self-driving car. Well, it turned out to be true: the IT giant has recently received a permit to test its smart vehicles on the streets of California and the automobile has already been spotted in the wild. Not only that, but it seems that the company is also pushing to change some of California's test-driving laws for self-driven vehicles. Here's all we know so far:
It's only been a little over two weeks since Apple has received the permit to test its self-driving cars in California and the vehicle has already been spotted on the streets of Silicon Valley. As far as I know, currently, the IT giant only has one smart automobile on the road, a white Lexus RX450h SUV fitted with a wide array of sensors, cameras and other groovy tech designed to give the car the ability to drive itself without causing any trouble. In its secretive fashion, the company declined to offer any official comments on the matter, but it appears that the hardware on the vehicle isn't home-made.
According to the specialists who saw the self-driving car or images of it, the sensors that surround the vehicle are called LiDAR and are made by the Velodyne company. From what I know, these are the same sensors that other tech firms have used in their similar projects. Furthermore, it appears that the other cool gadgets on Apple's self-driving car are also made by third-party companies and purchased off-the-shelf by the IT giant. This is a strong indication that the Cupertino-based company is actively working on developing the self-driving software and not the hardware that the vehicle requires. However, knowing Apple's track record that may change in the future and we may end up with a true iCar. However, let's not get ahead of ourselves and talk about we know for sure like the fact that according to the public record of the IT giant's DMW request, the self-driving platform is dubbed the Apple Autonomous System.
Furthermore, in a letter that was made public this Friday, Apple started pushing the state of California for some changes on its self-driving car policies, changes that will make it "so that rapid technology development may be realized while ensuring the safety of the traveling public." From what I've read, the IT giant wants the state's officials to modify the way companies report self-driving system disengagements. Additionally, the Cupertino company also wants to modify the restrictions that are currently in place when it comes to the design and hardware that can be used on test self-driving vehicles. Since other industry giants such as Waymo (ex Google-X), Tesla Motors, Ford Motor, Toyota Motor or Uber Technologies are also pushing in the same direction, it's very likely that it won't be long until the authorities give in.
Apple seems to be currently involved in a lot of cool projects, including a modular MacBook Pro. Hopefully, we'll get to see them all completed in the near future.