Could Apple enter the self driving car race?

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Apple is renowned for making some of the most coveted technology in the world. And, now the tech behemoth has declared it is wading into the self driving car market.

Apple’s director of product integrity Steve Kenner has written a letter to the National Highway Traffic Saey Administration saying that his firm is looking forward to exploring the possibilities offered by automated transportation.

There has been speculation for much of this year about whether Apple is planning to throw its hat into the self drive car ring. And now it has confirmed that it is interested in looking at the technology involved in automatic transportation.

In the letter, Mr Kenner says that Apple has decided to make signficant investments into the “study of machine learning and automation,” and is excited about the possibilities for automated systems, particularly in the transport sector.

Deaths

Mr Kenner said that Apple believed automated vehicles could “greatly enhance the human experience,” preventing crashes and deaths on the road and giving mobility and independence to those who currently do not have it.

The US-headquartered firm asked regulators not to place too many curbs on testing of self-driving cars to make sure that all possibilities could be explored. It also said that new entrants, such as itself, and established manufacturers should be treated equally.

Apple said that sotware would be important in preventing accidents, given that automated systems would have to make decisions in real-time situations. Analysts are warning that the impact of self-drive cars could be to remove jobs from the likes of lorry, taxi and Uber drivers as well as cutting work for mechanics and insurance workers.

The tech firm says it wants to work closely with transport officials to make sure that it can help to define future best practice for the industry.

The outgoing Obama administration had urged carmakers to submit details of their systems back in September. However, at the time Apple bosses remained quiet about their interest in cars.

However, Apple has never commented on speculation that it had hired automotive engineers and designers. Although now it has said that it has put significant investment in to automated systems.

 

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