Apple has reportedly met with Californian regulators to discuss upcoming regulations that will govern the more widespread deployment of autonomous vehicles on that state’s roads.
Documents seen by The Guardian show that a senior legal representative from Apple met with officials from California’s department of motor vehicles (DMV).
Present at the hour-long meeting were Mike Maletic, senior legal counsel at Apple, and Bernard Soriano, Stephanie Dougherty and Brian Soublet from the DMV.
Soriano and Dougherty, who are deputy director and chief of strategic planning respectively, are responsible for developing the state’s regulations for self-driving cars; Soublet is the DMV’s chief legal counsel.
Although the DMV wouldn’t go into nitty gritty detail about what was discussed, it did confirm to The Guardian that “the Apple meeting was to review [the] DMV’s autonomous vehicle regulations”.
It’s understood that the DMV’s autonomous driving experts are hashing out rules to certify testing, safety and public operation of self-driving vehicles on public roads in that state. A draft of these guidelines was meant to be due at the beginning of 2015, but is running behind schedule.
Companies that have actively engaged with California’s DMV regarding these rules include Audi, Continental, Google, GM, Nissan, and Volkswagen.
At present automakers, suppliers and tech companies who want to test their autonomous vehicle on California’s roads need to submit VIN details, publish the nature of the self-driving features and detail who the designated test drivers are. BMW and Honda recently received testing permits from California, but Apple has yet to apply.
Last month, the newspaper revealed that Apple was in discussions to use GoMentum Station, a sprawling disused naval site near San Francisco that features a wide network and variety of roads and building types.
Earlier reports claimed that Apple currently has several hundred employees working on self-driving car project, titled Project Titan, and which is based out of a unmarked facility away from Apple’s global headquarters. Project Titan is reportedly lead by people with wide experience in the automotive industry.