Tech & Science Criminal case sheds light on Apple self-driving car technology

09:12  11 july  2018
09:12  11 july  2018 Source:   reuters.com

Ex-Apple employee arrested with stash of self-driving car secrets

  Ex-Apple employee arrested with stash of self-driving car secrets In a world where everyone wants a piece of the growing self-driving industry, we might have to get used to reports of betrayal and trade secret theft. According to Bloomberg, Zhang admitted that he downloaded Apple's driverless car files, so he could still have access to them even if he's not with the company anymore. Reuters also said that he admitted to taking hardware from the lab, because he wanted a new position within Apple and thought it could help him.

(Reuters) - The criminal complaint filed Monday against an ex- Apple Inc (O:AAPL) employee for allegedly stealing self - driving car trade secrets from the Cupertino company provides a handful of new details about its work on the technology , experts said.

By Stephen Nellis. (Reuters) – The criminal complaint filed Monday against an ex- Apple Inc employee for allegedly stealing self - driving car trade secrets from the Cupertino company provides a handful of new details about its work on the technology , experts said.

a close up of a guitar: FILE PHOTO: Apple logo is pictured inside the newly opened Omotesando Apple store at a shopping district in Tokyo, Japan© REUTERS/Yuya Shino/File Photo FILE PHOTO: Apple logo is pictured inside the newly opened Omotesando Apple store at a shopping district in Tokyo, Japan The criminal complaint filed Monday against an ex-Apple Inc (AAPL.O) employee for allegedly stealing self-driving car trade secrets from the Cupertino company provides a handful of new details about its work on the technology, experts said.

The charges filed in U.S. federal court alleged that a former employee, Xiaolang Zhang, disclosed intentions to work for a Chinese electric car startup and booked a last-minute flight to China after downloading the plan for a circuit board for a self-driving car.

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July 10 (Reuters) - The criminal complaint filed Monday against an ex- Apple Inc employee for allegedly stealing self - driving car trade secrets from the Cupertino company provides a handful of new details about its work on the technology , experts said.

(Reuters) - The criminal complaint filed Monday against an ex- Apple Inc (AAPL.O) employee for allegedly stealing self - driving car trade secrets from the Cupertino company provides a handful of new details about its work on the technology , experts said.

A lawyer provisionally appointed to represent Zhang did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. Zhang's arraignment is set for July 27 and he has not yet entered a plea.

But the complaint also for the first time gave an official account of some details of the self-driving car programme. About 5,000 employees were authorized to access information about the programme, including about 2,700 "core" employees with access to secret databases.

It also said Zhang was shown a "proprietary chip" by his co-workers and designed circuit boards to analyse sensor data, suggesting Apple may be designing its own chips for self-driving systems and working on technologies such as "sensor fusion," in which data from multiple sensors is combined to make it more accurate.

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(Reuters) - The criminal complaint filed Monday against an ex- Apple Inc employee for allegedly stealing self - driving car trade secrets from the Cupertino company provides a handful of new details about its work on the technology , experts said.

(Reuters) - The criminal complaint filed Monday against an ex- Apple Inc (AAPL.O) employee for allegedly stealing self - driving car trade secrets from the Cupertino company provides a handful of new details about its work on the technology , experts said.

The technical detail in the complaint "would only have been possible if Apple complied" with investigators, said Bryant Walker Smith, an assistant professor of law at the University of South Carolina who has studied issues around autonomous vehicles. Given the fact that even more technical details could come out at trial, "that's striking in its own right" and shows the importance Apple places on protecting its technology, he said.

Apple has kept tight wraps on its ambitions for self-driving cars, declining to acknowledge them at all publicly until it wrote a letter to U.S. transportation regulators in late 2016 urging them not to restrict testing of the vehicles. And then last year, Apple secured a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California.

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(Reuters) - The criminal complaint filed Monday against an ex- Apple Inc (AAPL.O) employee for allegedly stealing self - driving car trade secrets from the Cupertino company provides a handful of new details about its work on the technology , experts said.

The tech giant was going to build its own self - driving car . Now it is sticking to the underlying technology and testing it in an The team also worked on a new light and ranging detection sensor, also known as lidar. Apple Is Said to Be Rethinking Strategy on Self - Driving Cars . Sept.

But aside from filing a mandatory government training plan for the permitted Lexus model RX450h vehicles that outlined how drivers could take back manual control of the car, Apple has given few clues which aspects of the technology it's working on. Last year, Apple researchers published their first public research on cars, a software system that could help spot pedestrians more readily.

Apple did not immediately return a request for comment on the technical aspects of the complaint. But the document suggests Apple is working on sensor fusion, which it already employs on iPhones to make things like the location tracking more accurate.

"Sensor fusion is critical to self-driving," said Eran Shir, co-founder of Nexar Inc, an Israeli startup using smartphone cameras to try to prevent collisions.

But Apple may have large numbers of employees working on the project because the process of making a computer "see" the world around it for a self-driving car can be applied to other products, said Sertac Karaman, an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-founder of a self-driving shuttle startup called Optimus Ride.

"They think about the whole thing as almost a new artificial intelligence engine," Karaman said. "Taking data from a camera and a depth sensor and fusing it together could very well be used with cameras and sensors in phones."

Light is working on a nine camera smartphone prototype .
Light — the company behind the still-incredible looking L16 camera, which packed 16 lenses into one pocket-sized device — may be setting its sights toward the smartphone game, with TheWashington Post reporting that the company is experimenting with prototype phones featuring between five and nine camera lenses on the back. According to Light, the multi-lens array on its current (working) prototype can shoot up to 64 megapixel shots, with promises of better low-light performance and depth effects (presumably building off the type of portrait mode features offered on current smartphones.

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