Apple has been rumoured to be working on its self-driving car for years
Since then, the iPhone 7 maker has hired a number of high-profile individuals from the automotive industry.
But despite the endless rumours and reports, Apple has stayed tight-lipped about its vehicular ambitions, codenamed Project Titan.
However in a letter to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, unearthed by technology blog VentureBeat, Apple explicitly urges the US government not to restrict testing of self-driving vehicles.
In the letter, Apple explains that it uses machine learning in a plethora of different scenarios, including with transportation technology.
“Apple uses machine learning to make its products and services smarter, more intuitive, and more personal,” the company writes.
“The company 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.”
Apple’s interest in augmented reality will reportedly play into the car software
It is unclear whether Apple is still planning to build its own vehicle from scratch
The iPhone maker has poached a number of highly profile automotive engineers
The obvious implication is that Apple – who is new to the car industry – should not have its timeline affected simply because it’s not a traditional automaker.
Apple has issued a statement to the Financial Times addressing its long-rumoured car project.
“We’ve provided comments to NHTSA because Apple is investing heavily in machine learning and autonomous systems,” a spokesperson for the company said.
“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 already has its CarPlay product to take-over your vehicle’s entertainment software
Instead the company is believed to be focusing on a self-driving platform which can be integrated into existing automakers’ vehicles.
A recent investor note from KGI suggested that Apple will use its research in augmented reality to improve its autonomous driving system.
Of course, Apple already has a presence in its customers’ vehicles thanks to CarPlay.
CarPlay brings a number of apps, utilities and tasks from your iPhone and puts them on your car’s built-in display.
It allows customers to get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, and listen to music from their Apple device in a way that allows them to stay focused on the road.
It is not difficult to imagine Apple expanding this software offering so that it takes over the entire car console, rather than the in-car entertainment system alone.
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