Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) recently revealed a new driverless car system that can detect pedestrians, cyclists, and other 3D objects.
Apple’s ambitions used to include building its own autonomous vehicles, but they’ve scaled back and seem to be focusing on what Tim Cook calls “core technology.” In other words, instead of actual cars, Apple is working on the software that helps power them.
Self-driving cars usually use a combination of standard cameras and LiDAR technology which works by shining light onto a surface and measuring how long it takes to bounce back.
Apple’s research team has a new method called VoxelNet, which has dropped the standard camera and uses AI to examine just the LiDAR data. The results thus far have been highly encouraging and researchers claim it “outperforms the state-of-the-art detection methods by a large margin.”
However, the research is still in an early phase and VoxelNet has still only been tested in computer simulations and not in real cars.
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