A lot of rumors were floating around the web that the technology Giant “Apple” is going to launch its first driverless car. The rumors were strengthened when the Guardian reported that the apple executives have met the California’s department of motor vehicles (DMV) recently.
According to the sources of guardian, the senior legal counsel at Apple Inc. Mike Maletic had a one hour meeting with the officials at DMV which included the chief of strategic planning Stephanie Doughteery and the self driving experts of the DMV Mr. Bernard Soriano.
The news has come at such a time when the Google and Uber have already declared their mutual collaboration to build a self driving car. However Google has already launched a fleet of robot cars that are seen crawling on the streets of California. The Google intends to build several hundred of these robot cars in the near future.
Just last month the guardian had reported that the Apple is looking to book a testing site to road-test its new vehicles. The project is codenamed as Titan. The legal counsel also disclosed the mutual confidentiality agreement which was earlier signed in May between the GoMentum station, which is a military base near San Francisco which is not in military’s use currently. This base will provide miles of free roads to effectively test the driverless cars.
The department denied making any comments except saying that the meeting with Apple was aimed at reviewing the DMV’s self drive car’s regulations.
The department is now considering developing the rules and regulations for the deployment and operation of these newly developed self drive vehicles. These new rules will define the minimum requirements that will be mandatory to get the certificate of driverless vehicles. These requirements may include the need of successful testing, meeting the safety criteria and the readiness of the vehicle to be operated safely on the public roads.
The DMV is already running late in devising these rules as they were supposed to be implemented in the start of 2015. The top vehicle manufacturers including the Nissan, General Motors, Continental and Google and Volkswagen-Audi are included in the process of devising these rules. These rules made by the California traffic control department are supposed to influence the national rules in near future.
This was reflected in a statement by the Bernard Soriano in an event last week when he was quoted as saying that the regulations that are being developed by the California can be used in the future by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration when they will be in a position to develop the federal regulations in this regard.
According to the records of DMV some 10 companies have been issued the permits for the development of an autonomous vehicle and the permits are issued for nearly 80 self driving cars so far.
The major problem that the Apple may be facing is to let go of their traditional preference for secrecy because in order get a permit for the development of autonomous car they will have to provide the detail about the make, vehicle identification number and model of the car which they want to test as per the requirements of the DMV.
The apple may try to buy or rent a place of its own to test their new car in complete secrecy and for this there will be no need to get a permit. But the meeting of apple with DMV officials suggests that the Apple car may be ready for the public view.
All this work is believed to be happening in Sunnyvale in a lab code named as SG05.