Arecent letter penned by Apple suddenly became the strongest indication that it is indeed working on an Apple Car. It contained snippets that provide insights as to what Cupertino is baking in its labs as well as its plans for the future as a stakeholder in emerging segment of the auto industry.
Confirming The Apple Car?
The missive was sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration detailing the company’s position on the agency’s planned regulations on self-driving vehicles. While there was no tacit admission that there is really an autonomous car project the letter stated that it is investing heavily on machine learning and automation, which for observers serve as the strongest confirmation yet of the secretive Project Titan, the rumored code for the Apple self-driving vehicle.
Apple proceeded on saying that automated vehicles have immense potential owing to its capability to enhance human experience and the safety it offers. The company is arguing for a standardized principles in terms of safety and design. This position should reinforce its emerging stake in the autonomous vehicle industry.
Bucking The Trend
Specifically, Apple bucked the position of a number of self-driving car manufacturers not to share data and safety specifications.
“Apple agrees that companies should share de-identified scenario and dynamics data from crashes and near-misses,” the letter stated. “By sharing data, the industry will build a more comprehensive dataset than any one company could create alone.”
f course, the letter is also aligned with the position that Apple is merely interested in developing software and complementary hardware for autonomous cars. This has been supported by rumors that recent departures in the Project Titan as well as the shakeup in its leadership mark a shift in direction, from manufacturing a self-driving Apple car to serving as a software and third-party hardware developer. According to The Verge, the idea is that Apple could just partner with automakers as supplier of products such as the autonomous car software.
Some observers see other interesting bits in the letter, which was signed by Steve Kenner, director of product integrity at Apple. Fortune, for example, cited the letter’s interest on regulatory rules in existence that seem to favor manufacturers. Apple wants those rules broadened in order include new market entrants. If the company does indeed introduce an autonomous vehicle, it will effectively become a newcomer in the industry.