Internal Apple documents have provided the first real look at the company’s self-driving car system, Business Insider reports. The documents, obtained from the California DMV, claim that the system is “capable of sending electronic commands for steering, accelerating, and decelerating and may carry out portions of the dynamic driving task.” Images included in the document show that the three Lexus RX450h SUVs approved for California roads have all been outfitted with Logitech steering wheels and pedals to turn on the autonomous “drive by wire” mode. While the automated system “uses hardware and software to monitor surrounding objects and events,” the document also focuses on how the human occupant can regain control of the car if necessary.
Employees have to pass seven tests to prove they’re capable of taking control of the vehicle in the event of sudden problem with driving, accelerating, braking or turning while another employee steers the car remotely with a joystick to re-create the types of problems the driver might encounter on the road. Pushing the brake pedal or grabbing the steering wheel disengaged the autopilot, while accelerating can be accomplished without overriding “drive by wire” mode. The six drivers listed in Apple’s application are “mostly Ph.Ds specializing in machine learning, some of whom previously worked for companies like Bosch and Tesla.”