Apple's Self-Driving Car Spotted on Public Roads Near Palo Alto

Apple's Lexus RX450h with self-driving technology spotted on public roads near Palo Alto 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube video posted by
Apple has entered the game of self-driving cars this year, after receiving approval from the DMV to test prototypes on public roads.
The Cupertino giant is performing the corresponding tests just like a regular automaker, or how a tech company is approaching this field. A “mule” is used as a test bed, which comes in the form of a Lexus RX450h, and it gets several sensors and additional elements that are visible to the naked eye.

From there, the car has many other additional components inside, and it is presumed to be capable of driving itself even in the current level of development.

Unlike other companies, Apple has decided to fit a set of additional controls on the back seat, which seem to be operated using gaming gear from Logitech.

The autonomous vehicle prototype from the makers of the iPhone still has a human behind the wheel, which is essential in the first stages of testing the uncharted territory presented by self-driving automobiles. Fortunately, a reader of MacRumors has spotted the SUV while it was operating on the 101 north freeway near Palo Alto. You can see the video below, and it is evident that a human is present behind the wheel.

All of the additional sensors applied to the exterior of the Japanese premium SUV are visible, and they include a 64-channel LiDAR from Velodyne, which is a top-end product, along with several cameras and a few radar units.

Put together, all of those sensors and devices work with the vehicle’s built-in components to have a clear picture of grip, road conditions, and other essential aspects of driving.

Evidently, human senses the road in a different way from a robot, but the future self-driving vehicles planned by multiple companies are capable of reading data from speed sensors from ABS units, for example, which will lead to better car control for these robots.

It is worth mentioning that the AI that is connected to all of these systems is supposed to “learn” with every foot it drives so that it may outperform humans at this in the future.

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About the author: Sebastian Toma
Sebastian Toma profile photo

Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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