Report: Apple to Test Autonomous Car with Steering Wheel, Pedals
Apple recently received a permit to test autonomous cars in California, and now, new documents reveal more of what the tech giant is planning.
Through a public records request, Business Insider was able to obtain training documents detailing Apple’s plans to test self-driving car technology. As the documents show, Apple has created an “Automated System” for self-driving cars and is gearing up to put staffers through a rigorous training program. Unlike many of Google and Waymo’s test vehicles, the Apple car includes a steering wheel and pedals. During testing, the system is controlled electronically, but drivers must be ready to take back control of the vehicle.
“The development platform is capable of sending electronic commands for steering, accelerating, and decelerating and may carry out portions of the dynamic driving task,” an Apple official wrote on a government form.
If the safety “driver” presses the brake or grabs the Logitech steering wheel, autonomous driving mode will be disengaged. However, stepping down on the accelerator pedal won’t override the drive-by-wire system.
According to the documents, Apple testers must pass seven tests before they can complete their training. After two practice runs, they get three trials to pass each evaluation.
Unsurprisingly, Apple remains tight-lipped on its plans. Rumors have persisted for years that it was creating its own self-driving car under Project Titan, although it’s possible that Apple is now focusing its efforts just on the technology required for autonomous vehicles.