Published: Fri, November 24, 2017
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Apple Scientists Submit Paper On Autonomous Vehicle Research

Apple Scientists Submit Paper On Autonomous Vehicle Research

But the company last week quietly disclosed self-driving vehicle research that proves not only that Apple is interested in this field, but that it may have solutions to improve various aspects of it.

The paper was first noticed by Reuters, which said it was first submitted on November 17 to an independent online journal called arXiv. The method could help machines detect any pedestrians and cyclists in its path. The recent paper seems to be the first time Apple publicly shares information on autonomous technology. The paper was published in an global web journal known as arXiv.

"Most existing methods in LiDAR-based 3D detection rely on hand-crafted feature representations, for example, a bird's eye view projection". This technology works on the principle of speed calculation. However, LiDAR is not always effective at detecting small, distant objects on its own.

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Current systems use a combination of what is known as a LiDAR system - which shines pulses of light out then measures how long it takes to bounce back, working out how far away objects are and a basic idea of its shape - and cameras - which help to work out what those objects are. Apple's researchers argue a LiDAR and camera-based solution could be hard to deploy in many situations and it could be "more sensitive to sensor failure".

Thus, instead of the additional camera, Apple's scientists have proposed a detection method based exclusively on LiDAR.

VoxelNet applies complex computer vision and AI technology to carry out its functions.

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Experiments on the KITTI vehicle detection benchmark show that VoxelNet outperforms the state-of-the-art LiDAR-based 3D detection methods by a large margin.

United States tech giant Apple has been working on the self-driving technology for a very long time and now some details have been revealed.

Apple had told federal regulators last December that it was excited about the technology and had asked regulators not to restrict testing of the technology.

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The paper comes after Apple CEO Tim Cook clarified in June that the company was not building its own self-driving vehicle, but was instead focusing on an autonomous auto system.

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