Apple Inc, which started to announce it’s efforts to build a self-driving car, has sent the strongest hint yet about its so-called Project Titan. In a letter submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the tech giant states that it 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.”
In this letter (PDF) to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) addressing the proposed Federal Automated Vehicles Policy, Apple Director of Product Integrity Steve Kenner disclosed that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has been “investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation.”
Apple has been working on Project Titan for several years, but has never formally acknowledged it. Lately, the autonomous car project seems to be in flux. Recent reporting suggests that the company is no longer attempting to build its own electric car to compete with companies like Tesla, but is instead focused on developing self-driving software it can deploy in partnership with existing car makers.
While this letter confirms that the company is interested in playing a role in the future of mobility, it still remains to be seen how integral this role will be, whether Apple will create software for connected cars or manufacture their own self-driving vehicles.
Apple supports the data-sharing component of the policy, stating that by sharing data, “the industry will build a more comprehensive data set than any one company could create alone.”
The company also urged the administration to work with international bodies such as UNECE, G7, and OECD, with the goal of "adopting a harmonized approach to automated vehicles.”