Apple drops hints about autonomous-vehicle project in letter to U.S. transportation regulators

“Apple Inc. took its biggest step toward acknowledging it is working on autonomous vehicles, writing a letter to U.S. regulators offering feedback on proposed guidelines for the emerging technology,” Tim Higgins and Tripp Mickle report for The Wall Street Journal. “The letter from Steve Kenner, Apple’s director of product integrity, to the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offered no details on the project, but said Apple ‘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.'”

“Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has been working on its car effort, code-named Project Titan, for several years, but has never publicly acknowledged it. The secrecy has made the exact status of Project Titan hard to pinpoint,” Higgins and Mickle report. “‘We’ve provided comments to NHTSA because Apple is investing heavily in machine learning and autonomous systems,’ Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said Friday. ‘There are many potential applications for these technologies, including the future of transportation, so we want to work with NHTSA to help define the best practices for the industry.'”

Apple Car as per Richard Scarry
Apple Car as per Richard Scarry
“In the letter to NHTSA, Apple called on the regulator to work quickly to adopt new safety rules and look at ways to be more flexible with regulations. Mr. Kenner said by ‘improving regulatory flexibility,’ the agency would foster more innovation and encourage ‘the development of life-saving technology,'” Higgins and Mickle report. “Not surprisingly, the letter showed Apple’s autonomous-vehicle ambitions go beyond the U.S. Mr. Kenner encouraged the agency to work with international groups such as the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and others to develop a ‘harmonized approach to automated vehicles.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The reports of Project Titan’s death were greatly exaggerated.

7 Comments

    1. You either have dozens of doofus infantile MDN trolls to pick from or one who thinks he’s clever using dozens of different names and implores people to sign petitions suiting his idiocies and mental unstableness.

      1. 1. I’m the guy that probably started using the dozens of different names meme a few years ago.

        2. Yes, i’m crazy for Cocoa Puffs and invented the word “hottie”, but I’m not the clown keeps asking people to sign patitions or the guy that constantly rails against Apple, etc.

        3. I think Marc Gurman started the rumor about Apple scaling back their car project, but in all fairness he did say Apple will make a decision about building a car at a later date. It was others that assumed Apple was permanently ending the building car part.

        “New leadership of the initiative, known internally as Project Titan, has re-focused on developing an autonomous driving system that gives Apple flexibility to either partner with existing carmakers, or return to designing its own vehicle in the future, the people also said. Apple has kept staff numbers in the team steady by hiring people to help with the new focus, according to another person.”

        The key wording is: “return to designing its own vehicle…” Apparently some think they are back to building a vehicle.

        Source of Gurman article:

        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-17/how-apple-scaled-back-its-titanic-plan-to-take-on-detroit

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