Apple Uses Lexus SUV For Testing Its Autonomous Auto Software

Posted: Apr 28 2017, 5:42am CDT | by , in Rumors | Apple

Apple Uses Lexus SUV for Testing its Autonomous Auto Software

Apple's autonomous test vehicle is using all off the shelf components

Some leaked documents from an Apple training manual outlining the tests that workers have to go through before being able to work with the Apple self-driving vehicle software. Word has now surfaced that one of Apple's white Lexus RX450h SUVs for the testing of its autonomous software has been spied. The SUV pictured here was spied leaving an Apple facility.

As you can see in the image, the SUV is festooned with sensors and other gear to support the self-driving capability. MacRumors reports that the Lexus test vehicle has a Velodyne 64-channel lidar, two radars and a bunch of cameras around the vehicle. Word is that all the hardware the vehicle is using is off the shelf and not custom.

The Lexus SUV isn't to be confused with the Dodge vans that Apple uses to capture mapping data around the US. Apple has a permit to test autonomous vehicles on public roads and was granted to the company back in April. At the time the DMV granted the permit, it stated that Apple had three 2015 Lexus RX450h SUVs that it would be using for the tests.

Along with those three vehicles were six Apple employees that worked with autonomous vehicles. Apple might be a bit coy with details on its autonomous program right now, but testing these vehicles on public roads comes with a requirement to give detailed Disengagement Reports to the DMV that outlines miles driven and any accidents that might have happened. Rumors suggest that the team working on autonomous cars with Apple has until the end of the year to show if the system is viable.

It remains unclear what Apple plans for its autonomous car program if the software and tech prove viable. Perhaps Apple has eyes on selling software to automakers, perhaps it wants an aftermarket iDrive system that we can fit to our vehicles and make them autonomous.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Tech and Car expert Shane McGlaun (Google) reports about what's new in these two sectors. His extensive experience in testing cars, computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
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