Apple has inadvertently confirmed that they are working on manufacturer driverless cars. Their plans were confirmed when Apple sent a letter to the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The letter was sent back in November but has only just recently been found.
One section of the letter, sent to the NHTSA by Apple’s director of product integrity Steve Kenner, states that “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 work with autonomous vehicles has been subject to widely-believed rumor for the past two years, but the emergence of this letter confirms them. Nothing else has been stated about the project by Apple thus far.
Apple’s interest in creating their own brand of driverless vehicles surfaced last year when the top-secret Project Titan was created, fronted by a team of over 1,000 staff, some of which were formerly part of important consumer product teams within Apple.
Apple and Google’s movement into the vehicles has enjoyed mixed response from long-time car manufacturers in the past, and although these driverless cars are most likely years away from becoming commonplace on UK and US roads, trials have taken place in both countries to test the viability of completely autonomous vehicles.