Apple’s spending on research and development of new products keeps growing. The company’s R&D spending increased by hundreds of millions in the second quarter of this year, totaling more than ever before.
But where is all this money going? Some of its R&D projected are obvious, but others the company tries to keep secret.
Apple stays quiet about it, but the company is clearly developing a self-driving car. And this week the world was given a glimpse inside this project, showing that it’s much larger than many had previously thought.
The FBI arrested a former employee on Apple’s autonomous car design team for allegedly downloading proprietary information and attempting take it to a rival car company in China. The resulting documentation reveals the number of employees on the project.
Bad drivers may soon get some crucial tips on the road from Apple, if the company’s latest patent ever becomes a reality.
While everyone in tech is working on driverless car systems, it appears that Apple is looking into ways to make it safer for humans to get behind the wheel too. Apple filed for a patent this week that envisions an augmented reality system for cars that shows drivers more of what’s ahead of them than they can see with their naked eyes. And it could totally change the way we drive.
Some new data-gathering vehicles are roaming the streets of San Francisco. They’re unmarked, but are suspected to be Apple’s. They are laden with sensors, but what kind of data are they gathering, and what for?
Experts contacted by Cult of Mac say the mystery vans are next-generation mapping vehicles capable of capturing VR-style, 360-degree street photos. Plus, the vans use Lidar to create extraordinarily precise “point clouds,” a prerequisite for self-driving cars. Mesh those two databases together and you’ve laid the groundwork for an autonomous vehicle’s navigation system.