Apple executives have reportedly discussed their plans for an “autonomous vehicle” with officials at California’s department of motor vehicles (DMV).
According to documents obtained by The Guardian, Mike Maletic, a senior legal counsel at Apple, had an hour-long meeting on Aug. 17 with the department’s self-driving car experts Bernard Soriano, DMV deputy director, and Stephanie Dougherty, chief of strategic planning, who are co-sponsors of California’s autonomous vehicle regulation project, and Brian Soublet, the department’s deputy director and chief counsel. The department wouldn't comment on what was discussed at the August meeting, beyond saying that “the Apple meeting was to review [the] DMV’s autonomous vehicle regulations.”
The article also says that Apple has appointed an engineering program manager (EPM) to Project Titan. EPMs generally arrive on an Apple project once a product is ready to leave the lab, and coordinate the work of teams of hardware and software engineers.
Last month The Guardian reported that, in May, engineers from Apple’s secretive Special Project group met with officials from GoMentum Station, a 2,100-acre former naval base near San Francisco that is being turned into a high-security testing ground for autonomous vehicles. GoMentum Station in Concord, California is where the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) leads and facilitates a collaborative partnership among communications suppliers, technology companies, researchers and academia; public agencies and other partners.
These entities converge in research development, testing validation and commercialization of Connected Vehicle (CV) applications and Autonomous Vehicles (AV) technologies to define the next generation of transportation network infrastructure, according to the GoMentum website. The site adds that the station, featuring 20 miles of paved roadway, "is the largest secure test facility in the world and will become the center of CV/AV research."
The Wall Street Journal says Apple’s car project is code-named “Titan.” The article says Steve Zadesky, Apple’s vice president of iPhone/iPod Design has been put in charge of the project, and that he’s assembling a 1,000 member team. (By the way, the graphics accompanying this article are mock-ups of an "Apple Car," nothing more.)