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Apple reveals self-driving car plans

Its statement to US regulators confirmed self-driving car plans in action.

By Hannah Williams

Apple has given a small insight into its self-driving plans in a letter addressed to the US transport regulators.

The letter, which was dated November 22nd 2016, was submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Steve Kenner wrote saying, “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.”

Kenner also proposed privacy safeguards for consumers alongside increased data sharing between manufacturers. This was in addition to the Apple director promoting safety and ethical considerations about the impact of autonomous cars on jobs and public spaces.

The rumour mill has always been in overdrive when it comes to Apple and its self-driving plans, with the company reportedly having previously considered building an entire car. However, it now seems that Apple is focusing on autonomous-driving systems and software.

Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said in an emailed statement: “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.”

AppleThe technology giant requested that the regulator work quickly to adopt new safety rules, also looking at ways to be more flexible with regulations.

The letter showed Apple’s autonomous-vehicle ambitions go beyond the initial encouragement from Mr Kenner for the agency to work with international groups such as the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and others, in developing a “harmonised approach to automated vehicles.”

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Google has previously already began testing its self-driving cars on the road, whilst automotive makers such as BMW and Ford recently announced a joint venture to build charging sites for electric vehicles.



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