Apple finally confirms the „secret“of its self-driving car ambitions
Ok, we all knew this has been a long time coming. From the various job poachings in the last months, including former Tesla employees and reportedly staffing more than 1,000 engineers, we knew. But now it’s official. Kind of. Here’s why a letter to US regulators from Apple’s director of product integrity, Steve Kenner, provides the proof that Apple is building a self-driving car:
The letter begins simple enough, saying that Apple is investing in machine learning and “is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation”, in the words of Kenner. Then it goes on to praise how great self-driving cars can be: “Automated vehicles have the potential to greatly enhance the human experience — to prevent millions of car crashes and thousands of fatalities each year and to give mobility to those without.” Then Apple urges National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a regulatory body of the US, to not be too restrictive on the testing of self-driving vehicles.
You might ask yourselves why this is a big deal and that’s a fair question. Here’s why: Although the tech world has been openly speculating about Apple’s self-driving car push and it was all but confirmed, it has been actually confirmed for the first time in public. This is likely not just a slip up or a coincidence. Apple is very likely building up hype and media attention for a product, which might mean that the company is getting close to an announcement. So, in a way, this was an announcement about an announcement.
But now we know for sure. Apple is involved in self-driving cars in some way and it will probably soon tell us what this way is. Stay tuned.
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