Apple confirms it is working on automated vehicles

Technology - Himanshu Gill - Dec 05,2016

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apple confirms it is working on automated vehicles

Apple, for the first time, has formally confirmed that it is working and investing on technology to build self-driving cars.

In a five page letter to the transport regulators in the US, Apple’s director of product integrity Steve Kenner, said that the company is excited about testing the potentials of automated transport system as it has a significant number of societal benefits.

Rumors about Apple’s plans to invest in this sector had been running long but this is the first time that the company has publically admitted to them. CEO Tim Cook had earlier suggested that the firm wants to go beyond integration of iPhones into vehicle infotainment systems. Apple is heavily investing in the research and study of machine learning and automation as it has officially confirmed this to the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

However, the firm has not mentioned any details of the project in its letter and just focused on highlighting the benefits of automated vehicles in the market, calling it a life-saving technology that can prevent millions of car crashes and thousands of casualties every year. It also urges the regulators not to impose too many restrictions on the testing of such technology on roads, emphasizing that established manufacturers and new entrants should be given equal testing chances.

Reportedly, Apple has also held talks of investing in British automaker McLaren, but McLaren downplayed speculations that Apple had proposed any sort of investment or trade deal. But the tech firm has already registered a couple of car-related internet domains such as apple.car and apple.auto.

Google has already started testing its self-driving cars on roads. In October, electric carmaker Tesla announced that all the cars it now builds will have the hardware installed to drive on their own.