back to article Apple working on 3D mapping at secret Swedish hideaway

Apple is secretly expanding a research and development plant in Sweden that develops 3D mapping technologies. The plant is run by C3 Technologies, which Apple bought in 2011. According to Swedish news sources, it's based in Lund in the south of the country, just over the water from Copenhagen. C3 Technologies was a subsidiary …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Collecting street level detail is NOT needed for a self driving car

    Self driving cars aren't going to rely on old pictures of what was there a year ago, or even a day ago. They're going to rely on their own cameras and sensors to tell it what is there at the moment. Otherwise if you based where the car drives on data collected from a streetview type drive-around you'll drive right through the "road closed" sign they put in the night before.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Collecting street level detail is NOT needed for a self driving car

      The neural network will not solely rely on historical imagery, but historical imagery will be combined with other data sources, including live sensors. I could see that type of information help the neural network understand its location when the present state of the location does not match its expectation, such as maybe after snow banks have been left after a snow storm. Once the baseline information has been collected, the neural network will naturally update its learning as the environment changes.

  2. John Tserkezis

    "Self driving cars aren't going to rely on old pictures of what was there a year ago, or even a day ago."

    While a bit true, those images create data the "self-driving" car will use.

    Since it can't read street signs, all of that data needs to be collated and stored beforehand.

    Even more interesting how here in Suburbia Australia, the speed limit changed depending on the "type" of road it is (50-60Km/h), even if as a human, it's sometimes a bit vague especially as there are seldom any speed signs for these types of road.

    It's going to be a long, long time before we see anything that works 'round here.

    1. Annihilator Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      "Since it can't read street signs"

      Why on earth not? I would have thought that would have been one of the most trivial parts of the problem to solve.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That's something that can be helped by "previous experience" from other cars. So if my car drives by today and sees the stop sign, then your car drives there a week later and has been knocked over by a careless human driver or sticky snow has covered it up, your car can assume "that stop sign is probably still there" and stop anyway, even though it didn't see a stop sign.

        That assumes the telemetry from my car is uploaded to 'the cloud' which is going to need a LOT of privacy protections and anonymizing of data mandated by law with very severe penalties for violations, before I allow it. I'll disable the cellular radio in my car if the automaker or author of software (esp. Google) is allowed to use the information for targeted advertising.

  3. JimmyPage
    Gimp

    Saw the Apple car here last week

    (Birmingham).

    Quite an impressive piece of kit on the roof ....

    1. Christoph

      Re: Saw the Apple car here last week

      They had one touring Switzerland with all that Apple gear on the roof, but some bloke with a crossbow shot it off.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Road signs

    there are signs here for 30km sections nears parks and schools etc. where the zone end isn't always indicated, you have to notice the zone start sign for the other direction, which of course you can only see the back of, means you are looking for a shape or in your mirror. That sort of lack of exactness is going to be a pain for self driving I would assume.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Back in July,

    I sent El Reg a mail to say that I had seen an Apple 'Streetview' van in Colindale (NW London) It was grey and had cameras arranged on its corners and sides.

    never had an acknowledgement though.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Back in July,

      Seems to be par for the course recently. Perhaps thay spend too much time either in the pub of scoffing all thst lovely food that gets described here at the weekends?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Back in July,

      I saw a squirrel in Hyde Park the other day...

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/02/05/zoinks_apples_mystery_machine_caught_snooping_around_california/

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/06/10/apple_mapping_service/

  6. Spoon Monkey

    Apple doing mapping using Windows .... look at the screen!

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