A few months ago, we heard rumours that Apple had decided to scrap its reported development of an autonomous car (despite never having confirmed the project). But the idea is still very much alive, according a brand executive.
The earlier rumours suggested that Apple was working on software to manage autonomous driving systems, after the project was apparently scaled down.
And now a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, penned by Apple’s director of product integrity Steve Kenner, states that the company is “investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation”.
This, of course, is the first time Apple has confirmed that it is indeed interested in autonomous vehicles.
Apple also mentions the importance of companies sharing crash data in order to help create more of a comprehensive database, while still preserving privacy. Furthermore, Apple urged the NHTSA to ensure that new entrants to the industry be treated as equals to the established manufacturers.
Autonomous driving technology is on the rise, with manufacturers such as Volvo and Tesla making some serious strides in recent times. There are others, such as Google, that have been trying to break into the autonomous car game, too.