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Businesses Transportation Apple

Apple Signs Deal With Volkswagen For Driverless Cars (nytimes.com) 69

Apple has reportedly signed a deal with Volkswagen (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source) to turn some of the carmaker's new T6 Transporter vans into Apple's self-driving shuttles for employees. The deal comes after the tech giant failed to partner with luxury carmakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz to develop an all-electric self-driving car. "[T]talks with those companies have ended after each rebuffed Apple's requirements to hand over control of the data and design," reports The New York Times. From the report: Apple's deal with Volkswagen, which hasn't been previously reported, and the failure of its talks with other automakers reflect the continuing travails and diminished scope of the company's four-year-old car program. The project has suffered from repeated changes in direction that have hurt morale and led to hundreds of departures from its peak of more than 1,000 members two years ago, five former Apple employees said. They added that the team was now mostly consumed with developing the self-driving shuttle but the project lacks a clear plan beyond the vans.
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Apple Signs Deal With Volkswagen For Driverless Cars

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  • Or do they really mean self-driving, but not really because you can't actually trust it enough to drive itself?

    Or we talking about cars in some sort of nonphysical reality that doesn't need to worry about things like pedestrians, other traffic, or concrete barricades?

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      Projected pattern analysis with additional light inputs makes robotic vehicles possible. Projecting a pattern onto the surrounds using the invisible to us light spectrum, allows computers to analyse the three dimensional surface around them and analyse it, see it and react to it. A pattern has a set appearance when projected on a flat surface at a set distance, as the distance increases or decreases so the pattern changes size. As the surface changes from flat relatively to the projection point, to tilted s

      • Don't even need to project anything. Just use two (or more) optical cameras and do stereo vision with them. Requires a bit of intelligence to match up the images, but the rest is just trig.

        As to pedestrians, provided they are carrying an iPhone then it can tell the car where they are. And if they are not carrying an iPhone, not a problem.

        • Don't even need to project anything. Just use two (or more) optical cameras and do stereo vision with them. Requires a bit of intelligence to match up the images, but the rest is just trig.

          As to pedestrians, provided they are carrying an iPhone then it can tell the car where they are. And if they are not carrying an iPhone, not a problem.

          ...and if they are Androidians, just run them over?

          • As to pedestrians, provided they are carrying an iPhone then it can tell the car where they are. And if they are not carrying an iPhone, not a problem.

            ...and if they are Androidians, just run them over?

            Just so. A win-win for Apple....

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          You do not understand the nature of colour, patterns and shadowing, variabilities of light et al. Eliminate variables and you simplify the problem, down to something than can be calculated many times a second. If it was so easy, the US military, who only get third raters now, would not be running Google and Google would have already solved it but it seems they are struggling. Reality is, this is the best way to let computers to be able to see in 3D. Even facial recognition is hugely changed because you can

  • On the bright side [1] all the new white cars will reflect a lot of sunlight reducing global warming.

    [1] Considering all the new reflected sunlight, a really bright side.

  • FarfegNewton

  • Most cars are sold driverless to the customers
  • VW Bug (Score:2, Funny)

    by HeckRuler ( 1369601 )

    I honestly thought they already had a deal with each other for the looky feely of the iphone and the VW bug.

  • sitting in the car in the wrong way.
  • "You're holding it wrong" meets “defeat devices” ... what could go wrong?

    It could even best the Uber-Volvo pairing -- "safest cars in the world" meets "remove the pesky safety stuff".

  • by Bearhouse ( 1034238 ) on Thursday May 24, 2018 @04:54AM (#56664164)

    The "dieselgate" scandal was (and in some way still is) a huge thing for VW; it really hurt them financially and reputation-wise.
    (Somehow the other car manufacturers - who all gamed the system but in a somewhat less blatantly criminal fashion - managed to escape).

    Since everyone else has given a stout "fuck off" to Apple, and their own vehicle development program is in the tank, then this leaves this unlikely alliance of the "weak", (note: both companies have enormous capabilities & resources, and lots of cash).

    However, both companies also have strong, and strongly-different, cultures, big egos in management and complex behind-the-scenes politics; this won't go anywhere....

  • by bjdevil66 ( 583941 ) on Thursday May 24, 2018 @08:55AM (#56664870)

    Would you climb into a self-driving car that's programmed by a company that cheated with their programming on EPA standards to make more money? I wouldn't either...

    Unlike BMW and Mercedes, VW is willing to take a bath on the draconian contract terms that Apple is clearly expecting any partner on this project to take. And they're hoping that Apple can give them back the tech cachet they need.

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