According to a report by Reuters, Apple has requested the state of California to review its proposed self-driving car policies, adding fuel to widespread rumours of iPhone maker’s interest in self-driving car technology. In addition to Apple, Google’s self-driving car unit Waymo, Tesla, Ford, Uber and Toyota have also filed comments suggesting changes.
In a letter addressed to Mr. Brian G. Soublet, Deputy Director at the Department of Motor Vehicles, Apple has provided the following comments on the Notice of Proposed Action for Testing and Deployment of Autonomous Vehicles issued on March 10, 2017:
The company is investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation. Apple believes that all those developing and deploying automated vehicles should follow rigorous safety principles in design, testing, and production. Such principles should not, however, inhibit companies from making consequential progress—there is no need to compromise safety or innovation. […]
To support ongoing research and testing, Apple proposes that California DMV amend or clarify its positions in the areas of disengagement reporting, definitions, and testing without safety drivers.
Meanwhile, Tesla said in its comments that California should not bar autonomous vehicle testing of vehicles that are 10,000 pounds (4,535 kg) or more, adding that it could “stile innovation” and would bar a company from testing a heavy autonomous vehicle to haul parts on private property but could not operate on any public roads.
Similarly, Uber commented that California should allow paying members of the public to ride in autonomous vehicles with drivers.