Is Apple Building Self-Driving Car?

For the first time, Apple publicly acknowledged its plans to develop self-driving cars

apple-car

Apple, which has been rumored to be working on a self-driving car project, has sent a letter the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on its automated vehicle policy.

For the first time, the tech giant publicly acknowledged its plans to develop self-driving cars. Commenting on the NHTSA’s planned regulations for self-driving vehicles, the tech firm said that the agency should promote “fair competition” between newcomers to the automotive industry and traditional manufacturers, Financial Times reported.

Apple, which has been secretive about self-driving car project called Project Titan, has dropped a strong hint about its efforts to build a self-driving car.

In the letter, the company noted that it is “investing heavily in machine learning and automation.” The letter suggests that the iPhone maker is also a player in the autonomous vehicle industry.

Apple also provided several recommendations to benefit newcomers in the auto industry. The company recommends regulation to require manufacturers to share data from crashes and near-misses, “sufficient to reconstruct the event.”

The letter, signed by Director of Product Integrity Steve Kenner, states that Apple “looks forward to collaborating with other stakeholders to define the specific data that should be shared.”

The letter recommends that the 2015 FAST Act loosened, which relaxed rules on public testing of new vehicles for established manufacturers, should also be broadened to give the same leeway to new market entrants.

In addition, Apple suggests NHTSA to consider “the impact of automated vehicles on the public good, including their consequences for employment and public spaces.”

Project Titan

Tesla CEO Elon Musk earlier called Apple’s electric car an “open secret.” Musk stated that the iPhone maker will probably make a compelling electric car. “It’s pretty hard to hide something if you hire over a thousand engineers to do it,” he said.

Report in the past indicated that Apple is offering incentives to Tesla employees to join Apple.

In July, Bloomberg reported that Apple appointed Dan Dodge, the founder and former CEO of QNX, BlackBerry’s automotive software division. The report suggested that the company is working on a software for autonomous vehicles as part of its Project Titan.