Apple permit reveals self-driving car testers include NASA roboticists

“Apple Inc.’s plan for autonomous vehicles calls for putting more-senior engineers in all of its cars than some of its rivals are using for road tests, a move that suggests the company is still in the early phases of testing its technology, analysts say,” Tripp Mickle and Tim Higgins report for The Wall Street Journal.

“In a permit issued April 14 by the state of California, obtained Friday through a public-records request, Apple identifies six employees, including roboticists who worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, who will be in the front seat of three Lexus sport-utility vehicles outfitted with technology to make them autonomous,” Mickle and Higgins report. “Shilpa Gulati, the first person named on the Apple permit, has been in the field since at least 2009, when she was part of a team working in Antarctica on a NASA-funded project to develop an autonomous vehicle to explore one of Jupiter’s moons.”

“She later worked on self-driving cars at Robert Bosch GmbH, a German technology and auto-parts supplier. According to her LinkedIn page, she is a manager working on special projects at a ‘Silicon Valley company,’ where she built a team of about 30 researchers and engineers,” Mickle and Higgins report. “The permit also names three engineers who worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Paul Hebert, who has designed a robot that could unlock a door; Jeremy Ma, who focused on algorithms for detecting three-dimensional objects; and Victor Hwang, who has worked on motion-planning algorithms for robots, according to their LinkedIn pages, which list them as working at Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Satellites, NASA JPL robotics engineers… slowly the outline of Project Titan emerges from the mist!

Apple + satellites = ? – April 22. 2017
Why Apple may be interested in space satellites – April 21, 2017
Apple’s self-driving car test program revealed in new document – April 21, 2017
Analyst: Apple ‘almost certainly’ exploring making a whole car but there’s a big challenge – April 18, 2017
Right now, the ‘Apple Car’ is a 2015 Lexus RX 450h SUV – April 17, 2017
Gene Munster on Apple Car: Exploration does not mean a product comes to market – April 17, 2017
Apple’s Project Titan: California makes it official – April 17, 2017
Why you should get your self-driving car from Apple – April 17, 2017
Apple secures permit to test autonomous vehicles – April 15, 2017
Apple’s letter to the U.S. NHTSA reveals 30-year Detroit veteran on its stealth ‘Project Titan’ team – December 8, 2016
Apple files patent for autonomous vehicle collision avoidance system – December 8, 2016
Apple letter all but confirms plans for self-driving cars and commitment to privacy – December 5, 2016
Apple drops hints about autonomous-vehicle project in letter to U.S. transportation regulators – December 3, 2016
It’s not McLaren Racing, but McLaren Applied Technologies, that’s the apple of Apple’s eye – September 23, 2016
Apple-target McLaren is a tech company disguised as a carmaker – September 22, 2016
Supercar-maker McLaren says not in discussion with Apple ‘in respect of any potential investment’ – September 22, 2016
Apple in talks to acquire British supercar maker McLaren – September 21, 2016
Apple in talks to acquire electric vehicle-maker Lit Motors – September 21, 2016
Gene Munster gives up the Apple Television ghost – May 19, 2015


    1. Same here, *yawn*. This technology isn’t going to be safe enough for massive adoption anytime soon, if ever, and I personally don’t want a car that relies on an OS to function. It isn’t that Apple can’t win, it’s that entire industries are chasing this red herring of an idea. Incidentally, I am saying this as someone that actually buys cars, not some millennial that just has stars in their eyes, no offense to anybody.

  1. Seems Apple can’t win in some people’s eyes whatever direction they go in, be it simply Improving their present tech inevitably garnering accusations of a lack of imagination or innovation or if they try to develop new and additional sectors to broaden their business, they are accused of lacking focus and ignoring their core products. Surely the best strategy is somewhere between the two.

  2. I live in an area where there are two 1500 ft altitude changes in my 13 mile commute to work. And it can be 70 degrees with clear roads and snowy slippery the next.

    What exactly do I do if the “perfectly designed” software (think iTunes and Mail) insists that on a snowy slippery steep road that its perfectly ok to be running 70 miles an hour when the experienced drivers on that road know you can’t be going over 35?


    1. Self driving cars will kill less people than vehicles driven by people who are drunk, high on drugs, gabbing on phones, texting, etc. At least that’s what I have been told.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.