Like several of its peers, Apple is a tech major that is investing heavily into self-driving cars. The company believes that self-driving cars are the future and one of its cars was recently spotted on public roads. Apple has now issued a formal letter requesting that changes should be made to the existing autonomous car test policies.
In its letter, the company says:
To support ongoing research and testing, Apple proposes that California DMV amend or clarify its positions in the areas of disengagement reporting, definitions, and testing without safety drivers.
The company said that these changes were necessary so as to propel public acceptance and get more people to start considering self-driving vehicles as normal.
Apple believes that public acceptance is essential to the advancement of automated vehicles. Access to transparent and intuitive data on the safety of the vehicles being tested will be central to gaining public acceptance. However, the current and proposed disengagement reporting requirements do not achieve this result.
Apple also said that while safety is vital, it should not hold back innovation. Towards that, the company said that disengagement metric for evaluating automated vehicles should also include successfully prevented crashes and traffic rule violations.
Commenting about the current rules, Apple said that the current rules reduce transparency and clarity and as such, needed to be amended. The rules in their current form led to media coverage that had caused public confusion and misunderstanding, said the company.
As far as the changes the Cupertino giant wants are concerned, it says that disengagement should be reported only when an unexpected event or failure requires the safety driver to take control of the vehicle so as to prevent a crash or traffic violation.
Apple suggests that a disengagement should not be reported in cases such as a software bug or failure, discretionary decisions made by the driver and tests that are planned to result in an disengagement. You can read the full report right here.