Apple’s letter to the U.S. NHTSA reveals 30-year Detroit veteran on its stealth ‘Project Titan’ team

“As carmakers and tech companies race to perfect self-driving vehicles, Apple’s program and its automotive intentions remain notably ambiguous,” Alan Ohnsman reports for Forbes. “Like Washington’s old rule about the National Security Agency, its very existence isn’t to be mentioned – at least not by the company.”

“Yet when Apple recently offered views on preliminary guidelines for autonomous vehicles in a letter to U.S. regulators, it let slip an interesting detail: Its ‘Titan’ project team has a high-level Big 3 veteran with more than 30 years of industry expertise,” Ohnsman reports. “The author of Apple’s comments to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is Steve Kenner, identified in the letter as the company’s director of product integrity.”

“Prior to the letter, Kenner doesn’t show up in media reports or corporate information on Apple,” Ohnsman reports. “If you’re a massive tech company with remarkably deep pockets and want to get an automotive program off the ground, Kenner is a fine choice. He began his auto career in 1978 as an engineer for General Motors, where he worked for 14 years. From there, he spent 12 years as an engineering director for Chrysler, before joining Ford as a chief engineer in 2004, moving up the ladder through a variety of management positions before taking his vehicle safety role in 2011.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next. — Steve Jobs

Apple files patent for autonomous vehicle collision avoidance system – December 8, 2016
Apple letter all but confirms plans for self-driving cars and commitment to privacy – December 5, 2016
Apple drops hints about autonomous-vehicle project in letter to U.S. transportation regulators – December 3, 2016


  1. The presence of Steve Kenner could be very significant indeed.

    Many observers have deduced that Apple is only creating the guidance and control systems for autonomous vehicles, but will not be producing an actual Apple branded car. If that theory were true, Apple would not need somebody like Kenner.

    As a former engineer, engineering director and chief designer for mainstream car manufacturers, he will have virtually no experience relevant to designing autonomous vehicles, but will have extensive experience of designing successful vehicles.

  2. If Jony Ive helps design an Apple Car it will not have a trunk, hood or doors and be carved out of a solid block of Al-you-min-e-um. We cannot have things like doors disturbing the design perfection of seamless metal.

    Oh, and the car will be 2″ wide since it can never be too thin.

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