Apple confirms involvement with self-driving cars

Catherine Rowell
- Technology - Dec 05, 2016

Amidst persistent reports that tech giant Apple are to expand their products and areas of expertise, it has finally been announced that the company are to undertake significant research and development in the construction of self-driving cars.

The company is to join Tesla Motors, Google, General Motors, Ford and Volkswagen in the development and embedding of sophisticated technologies to ensure all products are not only fit for purpose, but provide key comfort and effective equipment to ensure top levels of safety.

A letter addressed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by Steve Kenner, Director of Product Integrity at Apple, highlights his plea for regulators to not penalise self-driving cars or limit natural technological progression within the automotive industry.

Kenner has stated to Reuters, "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"

"Executed properly under NHTSA's guidance, automated vehicles have the potential to greatly enhance the human experience — to prevent millions of car crashes and thousands of fatalities each year and to give mobility to those without."

However, with many automotive and technology companies undertaking their own research and development, Kenner has further stated that by collectively sharing vital information in the reduction of risk and increased passenger safety would provide increasingly beneficial for all companies in the development of systems and processes, affecting potential consumers in the US and around the world.

Such developments have opened up the question as to whether Apple will not only develop the technology which will become embedded into these cars, but also the cars themselves, providing a further competitive sphere within the industry.

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