Apple Finally Confirms Self-driving Car Speculations

By Michael Augustin , Updated Dec 06, 2016 05:33 AM EST

Rumors have been floating around the internet claiming that Apple is currently designing a self-driving vehicle. Sources believe the company is trying to compete with Tesla and Google in the autonomous-driving car market. Apple seems to have recently confirmed its interest to produce an automated vehicle.

According to the BBC, Apple communicated with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to express its interest to grow the industry. A company spokesperson reportedly shared the firm's "heavy investment in machine learning and autonomous systems." They also urged the NHTSA to avoid imposing numerous rules affecting the testing of autonomous vehicles. Additionally, they also appealed to have recognized manufacturers and fledgling companies treated equally.

Apple also suggested that companies who deal with self-driving vehicles should share data. The company considers the information gathered from unlikely crashes or near-misses integral for everyone to advance. They reason that a single company acting alone would take longer to gather data, while freely sharing and gather data from other manufacturers could ensure safer production vehicles in the future.

As indicated by PhoneArena, Apple's director of product integrity Steve Kenner also wants to ensure the user's privacy. He claims the industry and its regulators must keep the user's information private even during the collection, when it is used and when it is shared among the companies.

The company's communication does exactly specify if they will manufacture an automated vehicle of their own, but there have been speculations that Apple could be working on a self-driving system, which other companies could integrate into their vehicles.

Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that Apple hired Dan Dodge, the former head of Blackberry's automotive division. Sources believe that he was assigned to handle the production of the company's self-driving automobile. The website also confirms that Apple has engineers working on a car design. They are expecting a target release date of 2020.

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