Apple offers feedback on California’s proposed driverless testing rule changes

 Apple has offered feedback to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) concerning its proposed new rule changes regarding autonomous vehicle testing on state roads. The formal feedback provided by Apple is relatively short and to the point, contained in a letter submitted to the DMV and embedded below, signed by Apple Director of Product Integrity Steve Kenner (who also authored… Read More

Tumblr just added a switch in the iOS Settings that lets you turn the porn back on

 Here’s an interesting change: Tumblr’s iOS application just received an update which now lets you turn on or off adult-oriented, NSFW search results just by toggling a switch in iOS’s Settings. That’s right: you can now switch on or off the Tumblr porn with ease. Weirder still, Tumblr’s note about the change in the App Store update text says this was… Read More

Apple Asks California DMV to Make Changes to Autonomous Vehicle Testing Policies

Apple has asked the California DMV to alter the rules that require it to publish detailed public reports about the success of Apple’s self-driving car tests, according to papers shared by the DMV. If the DMV complies with Apple’s request, less information would be included in the reports. [PDF]

In a letter, Apple says it is “investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and goes on to say the company is “excited” about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation.

One of the SUVs Apple is using to test its autonomous driving software, courtesy of Bloomberg


The company then proposes that the DMV “amend or clarify” its positions in the areas of disengagement reporting, definitions, and testing without safety drivers. Apple is concerned that inconsistency in how permit holders reports disengagements can lead to media coverage that causes public confusion and misunderstanding. Apple wants disengagement reports to cover times when a driver takes control of a vehicle to prevent a crash or traffic violation, and little else.

Apple suggests the following changes to the disengagement reporting requirements to achieve an objective set of data to accurately and clearly inform the public about the safety of the automated vehicles being tested

A disengagement should be defined as an unexpected event or failure that requires the safety driver to take control of the vehicle in order to prevent a crash or traffic violation.

A disengagement should not be reported for the following:

– Operational constraints where either the safety driver has been trained to disengage the system, or when the system detects the constraint and disengages automatically. For example, a system that requires the safety driver to navigate through a construction zone.

– System errors or failures. For example, a software bug or sensor dropout that does not affect the safe operation of the system.

– Discretionary decisions made by the safety driver. For example, when the safety driver perceives a vehicle is approaching too quickly and opts to disengage the system.

– Any tests that are planned to result in a disengagement.

– The end of a test or experiment.

Additionally, the proposed requirement in §227.50(b)(3)(B)(vi) to describe the type of incident that would have happened without the disengagement should be removed. It requires speculation about future events that have not occurred.

Apple two weeks ago was granted a permit for testing autonomous vehicles on public roads, and has already begun to do so. The company has three Lexus SUVs equipped with sensors and cameras, presumably running the autonomous driving software the company has been working on for the last several months. Those SUVs have been spotted on Cupertino roads this week.

By participating in the DMV’s Autonomous Vehicle Testing Program, Apple will need to publicly share many details about its testing process, which will make it difficult to keep development on the software under wraps.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

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MacRumors Giveaway: Win an iPhone-Connected Pearl RearVision Car Backup Camera

For this week’s giveaway, we’ve teamed up with Pearl Automation to give MacRumors readers a chance to win the Pearl RearVision iPhone-connected wireless car backup camera system.

Priced at $499.99, the Pearl RearVision is a backup camera kit that’s designed to be installed on a car’s rear license plate, giving iPhone users a simple way to get an aftermarket backup camera.



This system, compatible with cars made in 1996 and newer, is designed to work with an iPhone 5 or later, and it includes a Camera Frame, Car Adapter, and Phone Mount for use with the iPhone. It’s easy enough to set up that it doesn’t require a professional – it’s similar to installing a license plate cover.

Once the Camera Frame is installed, it connects to an iPhone running the accompanying Pearl app and displays whatever’s behind the car in either portrait or landscape mode using two wide-angle 180 degree HD camera lenses, one with infrared for night vision capabilities. The Car Adapter also plugs into the car’s OBD port, and the whole thing connects to the iPhone over WiFi and Bluetooth.



Pearl RearVision includes collision detection and gives audible and visual alerts when objects, including cars and people, are in the way of the car. The warning noise varies based on how close an object is to the camera.

Using the iPhone’s screen, it’s possible to pan left and right to get a better view of what’s behind the car, and the frame itself is both water resistant and theft resistant. A built-in solar panel provides power, allowing the device to be wire-free, while a built-in battery stores power.



We have one Pearl RearVision to give away to a MacRumors reader. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winner and send the prize. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The contest will run from today (April 28) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on May 5. The winner will be chosen randomly on May 5 and will be contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before a new winner is chosen.

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Merriam-Webster Adds ‘Sheeple’ to Dictionary and Lists Apple Users as Example

Merriam-Webster recently announced that it has added “sheeple” to its dictionary, an informal word that it defines as “people who are docile, compliant, or easily influenced” and thereby “likened to sheep.”

The first example of the word in a sentence is pretty unremarkable…

James Nichols, who ran the family farm here, stamped dollar bills with red ink in protest against currency and told his neighbors that they were “sheeple” for obeying authority like livestock. — Sara Rimer and James Bennet

…but then there’s this:

Apple’s debuted a battery case for the juice-sucking iPhone—an ungainly lumpy case the sheeple will happily shell out $99 for. — Doug Criss

Merriam-Webster, which dates back to 1843, says the first usage of the word “sheeple” was in 1945, long before the advent of the Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Apple as a company altogether. For what it’s worth, the word’s popularity apparently falls within the bottom 10 percent of its dictionary.



Sadly, this is not the Onion.
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Uber Will Make It Easier Than Ever to Delete Your Personal Information From Its App

Uber today announced that it will begin rolling out a simplified way for users to permanently delete their personal information from the app over the next few weeks (via The Verge). The news follows a few months of protests against the company that included Uber’s perceived opportunistic business tactics during the immigration airport protests in January, the questionable actions of CEO Travis Kalanick, and the app’s location sharing practices.

Prior to the update, users could delete the app from their phone, but any data Uber had obtained from its users would remain on its servers unless customers personally emailed or called the company’s support team. Now, users will be able to go through this process within the app itself thanks to a new “Delete Your Account” screen, which will immediately deactivate user accounts and then permanently delete everything after 30 days.



Uber said this protracted deletion period is a way for users to reverse their decision if they change their minds. Data deleted will also affect any information that was entered in Uber’s food-related spin-off app, UberEats.

Late last year and early in 2017, Uber faced a series of backlashes from the public related to the app’s tracking of user data up to five minutes after a trip ends, as well as multiple reports related to Kalanick and his relationship with President Donald Trump. Uber claims that the new account deletion update isn’t in response to any of those previous reports, and that it’s been in the works “for more than a year.”

Uber insists today’s changes aren’t a response to those campaigns. A spokesperson said today’s release has been scheduled for several months, and the changes have been in the works for even longer. “We’ve been working on improving this [account deletion] experience for more than a year,” said an Uber spokesperson.

The update will also include more customizable notification settings, as well as a few tweaks to location sharing settings when friends ask to hail a ride from where you’re located. The actual main location sharing feature is still a black and white choice, so users who opt-out will have to manually enter their location each time they want to request a ride.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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Apple stops paying royalties to Qualcomm

 It’s no secret, Apple and Qualcomm have been fighting relentlessly for a few months over royalty payments. Apple told Qualcomm that it would stop paying the disputed licensing fees. Qualcomm confirmed the agressive move and said that its revenue and profits would be lower than expected. Apple said that it is waiting for a court decision to resume payments. Of course, the company expects… Read More

Apple and Qualcomm’s license dispute is getting nasty

Qualcomm's ongoing legal dispute with Apple today took a new turn after the chipmaker accused its device-making partner of further withholding patent royalties. According to a statement, Apple recently stopped paying licensing revenue to manufacturer…