It’s been long rumoured that Apple, the company known for its smartphones and computers, has been working on autonomous vehicles. Although, until now, the scarcity of reliable proofs hindered these speculations’ certainties. However, as it turns out, Apple is indeed brainstorming ideas for such projects for months and has recently sent a letter to the government regarding guidelines for developing self-driving automobiles.
The five-page letter was sent by Steve Kenner, Apple’s director of product integrity, to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mentioning that the company is “investing heavily” in the autonomous as well as machine learning sectors. The draft further asks the US regulators to ease the testing of such projects stating “established manufacturers and new entrants should be treated equally.” and discusses comprehensively the wide potential of the industry for preventing critical accidents and fatalities.
Though, it doesn’t entirely verify Apple’s vehicle project, which is reportedly being referred as “Project Titan”, the letter does significantly showcase the company’s interest in the technology. The major concern raised after the rapid rise of these autonomous vehicles is the thousands of jobs which will be scrapped off. Emphasising on that, the document suggests NHTSA should consider “the impact of automated vehicles on the public good, including their consequences for employment and public spaces.”
“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,” Kenner wrote. “Executed properly under NHTSA’s guidance, automated vehicles have the potential to greatly enhance the human experience — to prevent millions of car crashes and thousands of fatalities each year and to give mobility to those without.”, he added further.
It will be quite fascinating to see one of the most established technology brands to foray into an entirely different category. Their prime competition will be with companies who have been experimenting and implementing autonomous technologies already including Tesla, Google, and more.