Apple reveals it is investing ‘heavily’ in self driving cars


Apple has revealed it is working on technology that will help it to develop self driving cars.

The Cupertino firm, which has been rumoured to have been interested in self driving technology for more than two years, officially confirmed its secretive project in a statement issued to US road regulators.

In a letter to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the company said it was: “excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation”.

Steve Kenner, Apple’s director of product integrity said the company is “investing heavily in machine learning and autonomous systems” and that it wanted to develop “best practices for the industry”.

Apple Car Concept

Apple Car concept.

The letter, which was dated November 22 but has only just come to light, is the first time Apple has officially acknowledged involvement in a project related to self driving cars.

Mr Kenner wrote: “To maximize the safety benefits of automated vehicles, encourage innovation, and promote fair competition, established manufacturers and new entrants should be treated equally.”

“Apple looks forward to collaborating with NHTSA and other stakeholders so that the significant societal benefits of automated vehicles can be realized safely, responsibly, and expeditiously,” added Mr Kenner.

It could mean the company may look to develop its own range of cars.

Earlier this year, Apple was rumoured to be in talks to take over British supercar firm McLaren.

Although self driving cars are not expected to be the mainstream for several years, more rigorous trials have taken place in some countries including the UK and USA.

Google has been testing self driving vehicles for several years. In September, one of its vehicles was involved in a collision with another vehicle.

In August, the first ever public trial was of a self driving taxi service was launched in Singapore.

A number of car makers such as Tesla, Volvo and Ford are already developing and are carrying out advanced testing of self driving technology.


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