Apple Met With California DMV to Review Autonomous Vehicle Regulations

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple senior legal counsel Mike Maletic held an hour-long meeting with the California Department of Motor Vehicles last month to review "autonomous vehicle regulations," according to internal documents obtained by The Guardian. The revelation comes amid widespread rumors that Apple has hired hundreds of employees to develop an electric vehicle over the past several months.

California DMV headquarters in Sacramento

Maletic reportedly met with a trio of DMV executives familiar with self-driving cars, including deputy director Bernard Soriano and chief of strategic planning Stephanie Dougherty, who are co-sponsors of California's autonomous vehicle regulation project. Brian Soublet, the department's deputy director and chief counsel, was also in the meeting, according to the report.
California's DMV is developing regulations for the eventual deployment and public operation of autonomous vehicles. These rules will establish requirements that manufacturers must meet to certify that their driverless vehicles have been successfully tested, meet safety criteria, and are ready for consumers to operate on public roads.
Apple would be required to obtain an Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permit from the California DMV to test autonomous vehicles on public roads, which Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Google, Tesla Motors, Nissan, BMW, Honda and others have already done. Given the Cupertino-based company's culture of secrecy, however, that is an unlikely scenario.
If Apple does seek a testing permit for its Project Titan self-driving car, it will have to sacrifice much of its legendary preference for secrecy. Manufacturers applying for a permit have to detail the make, model and vehicle identification number (VIN) of cars they want to test, share details of autonomous features and capabilities, and identify test drivers by name.
If rumors about Apple testing an electric vehicle are true, it is more likely that the iPhone maker will use a private testing facility such as GoMentum Station, a 2,100-acre former naval base in the San Francisco Bay Area run by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority. Apple could also use its own property to test vehicles with complete privacy, something it may already be doing.

The report suggests the so-called "Apple Car" could be "almost ready for public view":
According to documents obtained by the Guardian, Apple has appointed an engineering program manager (EPM) to Project Titan. EPMs generally arrive on an Apple project once a product is ready to leave the lab, and coordinate the work of teams of hardware and software engineers.
Apple's rumored "Project Titan" electric vehicle research and development could be based at a top-secret office complex in Sunnyvale codenamed SG05, the report corroborates. Bloomberg reported in February that Apple aims to begin electric car production as early as 2020, but the company's roadmap is not entirely clear due to the highly secretive nature of the project.

Update: Representatives from the California DMV that spoke to Re/code have confirmed that Apple did meet with the DMV to discuss California's autonomous vehicle regulations.
"The meeting with representatives from Apple focused on a discussion of the autonomous vehicle testing regulations that went into effect in September of 2014," DMV spokesman Armando Botello said in an emailed statement.
Article Link: Apple Met With California DMV to Review Autonomous Vehicle Regulations
 

ArtOfWarfare

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Nov 26, 2007
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Can they accurately reproduce realistic driving scenarios on that 2100 acre test facility? I would think it's hard to reproduce kids playing in the street, people walking animals, busy crowds in a downtown area, etc, without actually going out on public roads.
 
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Jsameds

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Apr 22, 2008
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Can they accurately reproduce realistic driving scenarios on that 2100 acre test facility? I would think it's hard to reproduce kids playing in the street, people walking animals, busy crowds in a downtown area, etc, without actually going out on public roads.
Yeah, sounds like a good idea...

 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
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not to mention me wearing a tshirt with a stop sign logo on it
I have never seen such a thing before (although I don't doubt it exists).

Knowing when to respect signs vs ignoring them sounds hard. If a cop or construction worker is holding it, respect it. If it's on someone's shirt, ignore it.
 

Piggie

macrumors G3
Feb 23, 2010
8,487
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No way at all will this be working by 2020

2050 more like.
We are a million miles away from the scenario the media is painting.
There is so much public attitude to change, irrespective of the laws.

We don't have anything approaching a proper AI system, which you need long before you think about putting it into a car.

Remember. No need for any pedestrian areas to cross the road, all these cars will stop the moment a pedestrian steps out into the road.
Stand in front of the car/truck/lorry etc = the car is not going anywhere.

People will just play games with them as they know there is no driver inside to get out and go mad at you.

People WILL smash them, esp if their living depends on driving.
And that's even if they could cope with real driving conditions, which they can't.

They will need to break the law also to keep traffic flowing as people do all day every day.

The only realistic way to get anything working soon is to build special areas for such vehicles to use.
 
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0098386

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Jan 18, 2005
21,574
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I don't get the Apple Maps hate. Is it just here in Australia that it's good?
Pretty bad in the UK. When it comes to driving, I have Apple Maps, Google Maps and a regular TomTom. Apple Maps is slow to update its position and doesn't mention which lane to be in, plus is outdated around my way. Google Maps is okay but also slow. TomTom is leaps ahead of both.
Walking though. Well I've asked Apple Maps to guide me to shops in cities and its tried to take me hundreds of miles away to the shops headquarters!

I'm not a fan. No doubt they'll be improved though.
 
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Piggie

macrumors G3
Feb 23, 2010
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Google has their cars on public streets for testing and it's working out pretty well.
Problem is, there are Public Streets and there are Public Streets.

You can't launch anything to the mass public market, when it's only safe on certain types of streets with certain levels of traffic and congestion in certain scenarios.

Like making a parachute and works brilliant as long as the wind direction and speed is ok, and the temperate is not too bad either.

Put it this way:

If Today, there were no tech problems, or AI problems.
100% reliable, could be fitted into every Car, Truck, Van, Lorry, Train etc etc, TODAY.

There would still be MASSIVE real life and social problems with them.
I'd think it would take a generation or two of humans to get that part out of the way.
You'd need to be born into a world where computers drove cars for it to be totally acceptable to many.

Also we need to come up with some rules.

For starters how about this rule, which is basic, simple, but pretty dam important:

You buy a car, it has a computer brain, which your life is depending on.
What's it's main priorities when it comes to an accident?

To protect YOU the occupant at all costs, or to protect the general public and you are expendable.
Will it mow into a load of children waiting outside the school, maiming and perhaps killing some, to avoid you having a head on collision with a lorry that would probably kill you?
What's going to be more important?
 

ekrueger24

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2011
181
20
London, UK
Even though the rumours and associated evidence seem to point that they are making a car for real... I still kind of hope this is something they shelve. Sounds novel and something that could (and probably would) become the norm across all manufacturers, but is a car a product category Apple should (or needs) or get into?
 
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MacConvert07

macrumors member
Mar 26, 2008
38
19
Upstate NY
Couldn't Apple simply be trying to build a carOS instead of an actual car? Seems like it would still take the kind of hiring they have been reported to have done, still require a test facility AND would make a heck of a lot more sense than building the "car" part of the car. Apple doesn't make hard drives and motherboards but they use them in their products right? I say this whole thing is about a controller/OS for a car, rather than the car itself. Am I splitting hairs? Maybe, but I just don't see an Apple Car in the future.
 
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madsci954

macrumors 68030
Oct 14, 2011
2,678
525
Ohio
I'm waiting on these manufacturers to run tests here in the northeast. Rain, sleet, ice, piles of snow. And not mention pothole season after winter, where some roads here have more craters than the moon.

Show me these self driving cars navigating all that, then I will be throughly impressed.
 

heehee

macrumors 68020
Jul 31, 2006
2,468
230
Same country as Santa Claus
Problem is, there are Public Streets and there are Public Streets.

You can't launch anything to the mass public market, when it's only safe on certain types of streets with certain levels of traffic and congestion in certain scenarios.

Like making a parachute and works brilliant as long as the wind direction and speed is ok, and the temperate is not too bad either.

Put it this way:

If Today, there were no tech problems, or AI problems.
100% reliable, could be fitted into every Car, Truck, Van, Lorry, Train etc etc, TODAY.

There would still be MASSIVE real life and social problems with them.
I'd think it would take a generation or two of humans to get that part out of the way.
You'd need to be born into a world where computers drove cars for it to be totally acceptable to many.

Also we need to come up with some rules.

For starters how about this rule, which is basic, simple, but pretty dam important:

You buy a car, it has a computer brain, which your life is depending on.
What's it's main priorities when it comes to an accident?

To protect YOU the occupant at all costs, or to protect the general public and you are expendable.
Will it mow into a load of children waiting outside the school, maiming and perhaps killing some, to avoid you having a head on collision with a lorry that would probably kill you?
What's going to be more important?
I posted this in another thread.

Here is a video about Google driverless cars, including construction zones, bicycles, cars running red lights, school bus, police cars stopped on the side, etc. It'll show real life city driving around 7:45.

https://www.ted.com/talks/chris_urmson_how_a_driverless_car_sees_the_road?language=en
 
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TheRealTVGuy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2010
664
1,036
Orlando, FL
I feel like this is backward. Regulations should follow technology. For instance, someone should design a car that can safely go 150mph, get the public all excited about it, and force regulators (and the damn insurance lobby) to accept and allow it. (And if they don't, then we elect some public officials that will make it happen)

(START RANT)
I still think we should tell the insurance lobby to stuff it, deregulate speed limits, make all roads "Use at your own risk", and allow folks who work hard enough to afford Vipers, Ferarris, etc to operate those vehicles at their maximum potential. THAT'S my idea of freedom.
/Rant
 
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jamesnajera

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2003
409
96
I wonder if Apple will release a first iteration that is 100% autonomous or something that is partially. They might start with a electric car and partial autonomous for safety features. Then evolve the car to 100% autonomous. Just making a car is a huge feat, and Apple usually takes things in steps.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
21,996
27,490
This is what the CEO of Dailmer said the other day:

"What is important for us is that the brain of the car, the operating system, is not iOS or Android or someone else but it's our brain." Zetsche added that "We do not plan to become the Foxconn of Apple."
Anyone who thinks current car companies will give over their dashboard to Apple (or Google) is living in fantasy land.
 
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Mac Fly (film)

macrumors 65816
Feb 12, 2006
1,491
4,146
Ireland
No way at all will this be working by 2020

2050 more like.
We are a million miles away from the scenario the media is painting.
There is so much public attitude to change, irrespective of the laws.

We don't have anything approaching a proper AI system, which you need long before you think about putting it into a car.

Remember. No need for any pedestrian areas to cross the road, all these cars will stop the moment a pedestrian steps out into the road. Stand in front of the car/truck/lorry etc = the car is not going anywhere.

People will just play games with them as they know there is no driver inside to get out and go mad at you.

People WILL smash them, esp if their living depends on driving.

They will need to break the law also to keep traffic flowing as people do all day every day.
Yeah it won't happen by 2020, but I'd be surprised if it didn't begin to happen long before 2050, just not every city right away. It'll happen over time city by city and country by country. But it is further away than the media is portraying.

People will play with them for a while, but there will still be someone inside most of the time to get mad and people will quickly move on from this behaviour. Police will issue severe penalties for people caught doing this which will quickly curtail this behaviour.

People will smash them? That's called damaging private property. They'd be arrested. And self-driving cars would be fitted with cameras to document this.

I'd say it's safe to say if self-driving cars were done right they'd keep traffic flowing better than humans would.
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,882
4,697
No way at all will this be working by 2020

2050 more like.
We are a million miles away from the scenario the media is painting.
There is so much public attitude to change, irrespective of the laws.

We don't have anything approaching a proper AI system, which you need long before you think about putting it into a car.

Remember. No need for any pedestrian areas to cross the road, all these cars will stop the moment a pedestrian steps out into the road.
Stand in front of the car/truck/lorry etc = the car is not going anywhere.

People will just play games with them as they know there is no driver inside to get out and go mad at you.
#1 - They're driverless, not peopleless. The people riding will notice, get out, and yell at you.

#2 - If it's a delivery vehicle of some sort where it is peopleless, it can just summon help to deal with you. IE, it could call the police and hand them over a video of the person screwing around in the street.

People WILL smash them, esp if their living depends on driving.
And a video will be taken of them and they will go to jail if they do that. I think most people are smarter than doing that.

And that's even if they could cope with real driving conditions, which they can't.
They will need to break the law also to keep traffic flowing as people do all day every day.
The only realistic way to get anything working soon is to build special areas for such vehicles to use.
#1 - That one car you posted can't handle driving. What year was that from? What manufacturer? Nobody is saying this is an easy task. They are saying it is a task that Tesla can do, and that wasn't a video of the Roadster, Model S, or Model X, so it wasn't a Tesla. Tesla has already demonstrated their self driving cars on multiple occasions. In fact, if you own a Model S and sign up to receive betas, your Model S is already self-driving on the highways (it automatically turns off the autopilot when you exit the high way - Tesla isn't confident enough yet to allow anyone but a Tesla employee to be behind the wheel for automated surface street driving. They say that they'll enable it for everyone for surface street driving in the next year or two, using all the hardware already on the car, as an over the air software update.)

#2 - It could just follow the law. If people don't like following the law (the speed limit) then they tell their representatives to change the law.

#3 - Hah, no. Driverless vehicles have already logged over a million miles of driving on public streets. If humans were involved, there would have been 10 accidents and a death. Instead there are 0 accidents and 0 deaths. Automatic cars are already safer than cars with drivers involved. The automatic car will never be distracted. It has instantaneous reflexes. It can actually track every car around it in real time (potentially, it could even know about cars which can't be seen, if the various manufacturers can agree on a standard protocol for cars to talk to each other through.)

Anyways, 2020 is the date. You might not own a self-driving car by then, but I fully intend to.
 
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GrumpyMom

macrumors G3
Sep 11, 2014
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Yeah, sounds like a good idea...

Hey, looks like that car was driven by one of the locals from my neck of the woods!

I'm beginning to think even the stupidest AI will drive better than 2/3 of the residents of my state and 3/4 of the residents of a neighboring state I will decline to name. It's against the law to text or talk on cellphones where I live but I see it constantly. The drivers will not hesitate to mow you down. I'm very rarely a pedestrian in busy areas and very law abiding and considerate when I am one. But I've got some chilling anecdotes that are too long to recount here.

It's getting almost impossible to avoid close encounters with accidents almost anytime you decide to get on a road where I live. Even our police drive pretty recklessly and abuse the use of their sirens and lights. The school bus drivers pull some very dangerous maneuvers, too. And the amount of roadkill we have breaks my heart.

I do hope this tech will be viable and take over by the time I'm a little old lady. I'd love to have it in place now but I'm a realist. I know this isn't happening overnight.
 
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