Published: Mon, May 01, 2017
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Tesla, Apple ask California to change proposed driverless car testing policies

Tesla, Apple ask California to change proposed driverless car testing policies

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has asked California regulators to make changes in the state's proposed policies on self-driving cars, the latest sign the company is pursuing driverless vehicle technology, according to a Reuters report yesterday.

In a letter, Apple suggested a series of changes to the draft policy that is under development and said it looks forward to working with California and others "so that rapid technology development may be realised while ensuring the safety of the travelling public".

"Apple believes that all those developing and deploying automated vehicles should follow rigorous safety principles in design, testing, and production". The company has been investing aggressively in machine learning and autonomous systems.

For its part, Apple hasn't commented on any automotive ambitions.

Bloomberg reports the auto itself didn't have any identifiers that would suggest it was an Apple vehicle.

Both the companies have concerns about how the proposed rules require the companies to report "disengagements" with the self-driving vehicles and state that the rules might restrict the design of and equipment used in self-driving vehicles, which would in turn "stifle innovation".

Apple's stance is that only the most crucial disengagement reports should require reporting, and that instances where an autonomous system disengages without serious outcome or risk of a crash or traffic violation should simply be chalked up to the developmental nature of the technology. " The company additionally suggested that disengagements should not be reported when system errors or failures occur, when a driver opts to disengage, when tests are planned to result in disengagement or when cars drive through areas where the system disengages automatically, such as construction zones". Apple has now issued a formal letter requesting that changes should be made to the existing autonomous auto test policies.

Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla, in 2016 announced plans for new electric vehicles, including a commercial truck called the Tesla Semi and a public transport bus. Musk told the audience that the semi will handle like a sports auto.

As a reminder, Apple isn't building a vehicle anymore.

The sighting comes weeks after Apple was issued permits to test self-driving cars on California's roads.

If you follow self-driving auto news, you'll notice that the vehicle is a Lexus RX450h, the same make and model Google's Waymo uses to test its self-driving technology.

The Lexus SUV was spotted leaving one of Apple's buildings in California. Lidar is short for light detection and ranging and is the range detection and environmental scanning tool of choice for self-driving cars these days.

The report adds that the Lexus is rigged with third-party sensors, including a Velodyne LIDAR unit.

Like this: