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Apple Self-Driving Car Tech Revved Up in Public

Image: Apple Self-Driving Car Tech Revved Up in Public

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By    |   Monday, 11 December 2017 10:33 AM

Apple’s self-driving car technology was revved up in public to show AI advancements the computer giant has made, and which others suggest the company intends to license rather than build its own vehicles – except perhaps an employee shuttle or two.

While Ruslan Salakhutdinov, director of Apple's artificial intelligence work, didn’t talk specifically about how the AI projects tied into its automated driving efforts, the software described would all be needed for self-driving vehicles, Wired magazine reported.

Salakhutdinov talked about Apple's work in such things as using data from cameras and other sensors to spot cars and pedestrians on urban streets, navigate in unfamiliar spaces, and build detailed 3-D maps of cities, Wired said.

Engadget reported that Apple is not expected to get into the car making and selling business, but to license out its smart vehicle technology. The tech website said the company is looking to make a self-driving employee shuttle.

Salakhutdinov displayed images showing how Apple's system performed well even when raindrops spattered the lens, which could infer the scanner can read the position of pedestrians on sidewalk when they are partially screened by parked cars, Wired said.

"If you asked me five years ago, I would be very skeptical of saying 'Yes you could do that,'" Salakhutdinov said, according to Wired.

He also talked about Apple's work on the technology making decisions in "dynamic situations," using slides with a diagram of a car to illustrate it plotting a path around a pedestrian, Wired said.

Engadget said Salakhutdinov's talk on Friday might have been self-serving, a way to keep its AI team together after years of secrecy without any academic and industry-wide recognition for its progress.

Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted on an earnings call in August that a self-driving car is just the tip of iceberg in the computer giant's automation plans, CNBC reported.

"In terms of the autonomous systems, what we've said is we are very focused on autonomous systems from a core technology point of view," Cook said, per CNBC. "We do have a large project going and are making a big investment in this.
 

"From our point of view, autonomy is sort of the mother of all AI projects, and the autonomous systems can be used in a variety of ways, and a vehicle is only one. But there are many different areas of it, and I don't want to go any further with that," he added.

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Apple’s self-driving car technology was revved up in public to show AI advancements the computer giant has made, and which others suggest the company intends to license rather than build its own vehicles – except perhaps an employee shuttle or two.
apple, self-driving, car, tech
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2017-33-11
Monday, 11 December 2017 10:33 AM
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