The paper was published on the public site arXiv, where researchers traditionally publish work to get preliminary feedback before publishing research in its final form, Reuters reports. The biggest takeaway from the report is that Apple has discovered a new way to use LiDAR technology called VoxelNet. The tech would, in theory, make it easier for autonomous vehicles to determine the location of objects, including things like cyclists and pedestrians, to better avoid them.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has called self-driving cars “the mother of all AI projects,” but the company has yet to disclose Apple’s plans for the technology.
Making the research public suggests that the company is ready to be more forthcoming with its plans, and perhaps seek advice and feedback from other researchers working in the field. The move may also potentially entice potential hires in the autonomous vehicle space to consider joining Apple over its competition.