According to latest reposts that have surfaced show that at least six DMV officials, including Director Jean Shiomoto, were present at a meeting that took place on April 2 at Apple’s One Infinite Loop headquarters in Cupertino, as opposed to the new Apple Park HQ. The meeting is particularly interesting because the request for a meeting came from the DMV half rather than Apple’s. And also, wasn’t held publically which makes the whole thing more secret than holding it in a public space.
The meeting was requested by Bernard Soriano (Deputy Director – DMV). Bernard Soriano contacted Steve Kenner, director of product integrity Apple, to arrange the meeting. Steve Kenner is known to have close ties with Apple’s autonomous vehicle project. Six DMV officials were present at the two-hour meeting. These included deputy director Bernard Soriana, director Jean Shiomoto, chief deputy director William Davidson, deputy director and chief counsel Brian Soublet, attorney Emily Bisnett, and executive fellow Alexandra Lake.
Apple’s Self-driving Goals
Last summer, Apple was granted permission to start driving its self-driving Lexus RX450h vehicles. Since then, it has got everyone’s attention. In March earlier this year, Apple had 45 permits to test autonomous vehicles on public roads in California.
Although we don’t have any public announcement and concrete stuff about the Apple Car, it is no secret that Apple has dedicated a large team of engineers for the whole self-driving car technology. If reports are to be believed, Apple wanted an all Apple exclusive car, i.e. they wanted to build it from scratch. However, their plans seems to have had some alterations and now they’re only working on the underlying navigation system for a self-driving car.
Late last year, an image surfaced on Google Earth which depicted that Apple might be using a former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles facility in Arizona to test its autonomous vehicles. The satellite image depicts a “proving ground” with urban street configurations, such as crosswalks and intersections, which would be necessary for putting a self-driving vehicle through its paces.
We can only wait for the car to come out. Until then Elon Musk for the win!