Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has been granted a patent for “barrier detection” for a self-driving vehicle to make such it safe and effective in going from one destination to another.
Automated systems gather process large quantities of sensor data to identify objects in the surrounding environment. Apple says the processing of sensor data is often subject to a real-time constraint to facilitate navigation and robust control of the automated system. The tech giant thinks a lidar system could overcome such limitations.
Lidar is a method for measuring distances by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflection with a sensor. Differences in laser return times and wavelengths can then be used to make digital 3-D representations of the target. It has terrestrial, airborne, and mobile applications.
The invention involves systems and methods for barrier detection using birds-eye-view maps of lidar data. Some implementations may include receiving lidar data from a lidar sensor; determining, based on the lidar data, a birds-eye-view map of one or more objects that are reflected in the lidar data; and inputting the birds-eye-view map to a machine learning system.
Apple has been granted, and filed for, many applications related to an “Apple Car.” However, as I’ve said before, I don’t think the tech giant will build its own branded vehicle, but will work with current car companies to integrate its various technologies.