It wasn’t too long ago that the major rumor swirling around Apple was that the company was building a car.
That eventually lost traction, though, and evolved into the company putting its focus on the software side of things. Specifically when it comes to self-driving cars. Recently we saw a report that Apple had filed with the State of California to officially test self-driving vehicles in the state.
It became apparent that the motion was meant to help Apple test its self-driving software on the roads, and that vehicles like the Lexus RX450h would be utilized on the hardware side of things.
Now, Business Insider has more news on this front, essentially confirming that Apple does indeed have a self-driving platform, and that it is moving forward with the software. The publication gathered up documentation outlining “Development Platform Specific Training,” which references an “Apple Automated System” several times.
The documents reveal that for those who wish to test the software must pass seven separate tests. On top of that, the potential testers must also pass three trials, and complete two practice runs in the vehicles. These tests are meant to have the driver take back control of the self-driving car in the need of a sudden stop, sudden U-turn, and sudden acceleration.
“Apparently, during safety testing, the “Autonomous System” or development platform, is controlled electronically, for example, by a joystick (or, potentially by autonomous software.) Apple’s drivers need to be ready to take manual control of the vehicle.
According to the training packet, Apple’s self-driving car uses a Logitech wheel and pedals to actuate drive by wire, and it supports one person at a time.”
As it stands right now, it’s not a well kept secret that Apple is working on self-driving software for vehicles. Indeed, Bob Mansfield rejoined the Apple team in July of last year to lead the Apple Car team moving forward. It would seem, since then, the company has moved forward quite a bit.[via Business Insider]