The letter from Apple's director of product integrity, Steve Kenner, confirms rumors that Apple is exploring autonomous vehicle systems.
To maximize the safety beneﬁts of automated vehicles, encourage innovation, and promote fair competition, established manufacturers and new entrants should be treated equally. Instead of applying for exemptions, all companies should be given an opportunity to implement internal safety processes summarized in a Safety Assessment. This is the most efficient and effective way to ensure that development vehicles are designed and operated with a level of safety equivalent to best practices and FMVSS and will not be used by the general public. While NHTSA does not have the ability to amend the FAST Act, it can amend the Policy to state that exemptions are not required for the controlled testing of internal development vehicles on public roads, provided they will never be used by the general public. This would create a fair environment for all companies to make progress toward automated vehicles. Meanwhile, Congress should consider amending the FAST Act.
Here's how Apple proposes submitting a Safety Assessment.
This proposal is speciﬁc to testing of internal development vehicles; Apple assumes there will be a separate Safety Assessment process for deployment, including testing with members of the public.
• Prior to submission of the Safety Assessment, companies discuss with NHTSA a test plan and acceptance criteria that may include multiple levels of functionality.
• Companies document the agreed-upon test plan and acceptance criteria, including the planned timing for public road testing, in the Safety Assessment.
• Companies notify NHTSA when they start public road testing or change the test plan.
• NHTSA may question a Safety Assessment at any time.
You can read Apple's full comments on the Federal Automated Vehicles Policy at the link below. Please follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or RSS for updates.
Read More [via VB]