Apple Self-Driving Cars Latest News & Update: iPhone Maker Investing Big In Driverless Car Market? What We Know So Far

By V Doctor , Updated Dec 05, 2016 10:19 AM EST
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Apple confirmed for the first time in public that it was developing self-driving cars. The company wrote a five-page letter to the U.S. highways regulator to promote fair competition between traditional carmakers and newcomers to the automotive market.

Apple's Letter Acknowledged Its Development of a Self-Driving Car

Financial Times revealed that plans for the Apple self-driving cars were acknowledged through a direct statement that came with the said letter. A spokesman confirmed that the Apple self-driving cars are in progress to transform the future of transportation. In the letter, Apple mentioned the significant societal benefits of self-driving cars.

Automated vehicles can prevent millions of car accidents and thousands of fatalities every year, deeming it as an effective life-saving technology. Steve Kenner, Apple's director of product integrity, also proposed consumer privacy safeguards and ethical considerations on the way that autonomous cars affect jobs and public spaces.

Apple's letter hinted that the company will design and produce its own self-driving car, instead of merely featuring technology for other carmakers to use. Apple intended for regulations to allow faster testing of new versions of technology, since waiting for regulatory clearance every time can lengthen the entire process by several months.

Apple suggested for manufacturers to pool their data as they develop self-driving cars to help everyone identify various unusual situations on the road. As a result, the car industry will create a more comprehensive data set compared to any information that a single company could gather, although without sacrificing privacy.

Collaboration Among Carmakers

Hundreds of Apple workers have reportedly been developing its self-driving car in a secret research lab. According to Apple, they use machine learning to make their products and services smarter, more personal and more intuitive. The company is heavily investing in the study of machine learning and automation and is excited about the potential of automated systems in various areas, including transportation.

The Guardian stated that the letter about Apple's self-driving cars ended with the company saying that it is looking forward to working with NHTSA and other stakeholders to realize the huge societal benefits that automated vehicles can provide. In the meantime, trials for self-driving cars are already underway in the U.S. and U.K.

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