Alexander Hitzinger is the latest auto specialist to be recruited by technology giant Apple as it explores building its own car. In case you’re confused, he’s the guy who helped engineer the sports car company’s (Porsche’s) victorious return to the Le Mans endurance race. Hitzinger helped hire and build a development team and organisational structure at Porsche, expanding from ten staff to over 150 employees. He also helped them return to endurance racing and to develop the 919 hybrid sports car from scratch. Hitzinger’s LinkedIn profile states he left Porsche in March and joined a ‘Technology Company’ located in the San Francisco Bay Area as an engineering executive in April.
Apple was recently been awarded a patent that suggests it’s much rumoured ‘Project Titan’ car project is getting closer to being revealed. The document describes technology for a collision avoidance system that is designed for robots, or self-driving cars. It is the first public patent granted for the project – although the firm last week revealed its ‘interest’ in the area in a government filing.
The patent, filed on June 7, 2015, is entitled ‘Collision Avoidance Of Arbitrary Polygonal Obstacles’. A new patent describes technology that could be the key to self-driving cars – a system that can operate in both 2D and 3D area, which computer visions systems have had difficulty doing. It describes a technique capable of avoiding collisions and navigating through unfamiliar areas by calculating distances and shapes.
The system is described as having a memory, display unit ‘and one or more processors coupled to the memory and the display unit and configured to execute program code stored in the memory to cause the one or more processors to,’ reads the patent.
If the technology detects that the edges of the object are not in its path, the vehicle will keep driving in the same motion. But if it a potential collision is predicted, ‘the system selects the edge vector closest to the vehicle’s current position and calculates the force needed to avoid the obstacle,’ as stated by Apple Insider.