Apple Confirms Interest in Autonomous Cars in Letter to Federal Regulators

Apple-car-silhouetteLast week, Apple wrote a letter to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration telling it that "new entrants" to the auto industry should get the same rights as the established companies in the industry, reports VentureBeat. In the letter, Apple admits to its interest in "machine learning and automation" as it pertains to transportation.

Apple uses machine learning to make its products and services smarter, more intuitive, and more personal. 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 points out that established car manufacturers do not have to pursue exemptions to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards when attempting to test cars on public roads due to the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. New entrants in the auto industry, like Google and others, are not granted the same right under the FAST Act.

The Cupertino company argues that the best way to maximize safety benefits for autonomous vehicles, ensure fair competition and encourage innovation is for the NHTSA to amend policy to state that seeking exemptions isn't necessary for internal development vehicles on public roads.

The other half of the letter, which is dated November 22, addresses the Federal Automated Vehicles policy and a proposed data sharing program. "Apple agrees that companies should share de-identified scenario and dynamics data from crashes and near-misses," the letter says. "Data should be sufficient to reconstruct the event, including time-series of vehicle kinematics and characteristics of the roadway and objects." Apple also points out that data sharing should not come at the expense of privacy, and that companies should invest resources to protect the "individuals' fundamental right to privacy."

In October, it was reported that Apple was abandoning its car plans "for now." After numerous layoffs and reassignments, the remaining members of the Apple Car team were said to be focusing on autonomous systems. Dozens of employees are also working on a car operating system in Canada. The letter was signed by Apple VP of Product Integrity Steve Kenner, who used to be Ford's Global Director of Automotive Safety. It's not known when Kenner joined Apple, as his LinkedIn still lists Ford as his employer.

Update: Apple issued a statement to Financial Times confirming the letter and Apple's interest in helping to define rules for self-driving vehicles.

“We’ve provided comments to NHTSA because Apple is investing heavily in machine learning and autonomous systems,” the Apple spokesman said. “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.”

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Top Rated Comments

ghost187 Avatar
67 months ago
It will have a single door, including the trunk and the hood. They will justify it by saying it creates more parking space, hence saving trees. And who can disagree with saving trees? With less moving parts it will also have a more rigid construction making it the safest car of its class.

The base model will have a 100 mile range with only a driver seat, starting at $99,000, 200 miles/2 seats for $199,000, and 300 miles/4 seats for $299,000.

The jet black and pearl white versions will be prone to micro abrasions, but there will be a leather Apple cover made from Australian sheep leather for only $9,900.

It will run iOS 15 that ensures your safety by limiting the top speed to the local speed limit. Jail breaking will void your warranty.

The cockpit will feature a single home pedal design that uses force touch, brakes will apply automatically when you lift your foot off the home pedal.

Everything will be controlled with Siri. Here are some examples;

Hey Siri take me to work.
Ok, there are 15 restaurants nearby that serve Pork!

Hey Siri play the next track.
Sorry, I could not find the playlist named next track, would you like me to search the web for "play the next track"?

Ok, lol, I was carried away and bored :D
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jdillings Avatar
67 months ago
I wonder, how the thinness would apply.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
venusboy Avatar
67 months ago
It will have a single door, including the trunk and the hood. They will justify it by saying it creates more parking space, hence saving trees. And who can disagree with saving trees? With less moving parts it will also have a more rigid construction making it the safest car of its class.

The base model will have a 100 mile range with only a driver seat, starting at $99,000, 200 miles/2 seats for $199,000, and 300 miles/4 seats for $299,000.

The jet black and pearl white versions will be prone to micro abrasions, but there will be a leather Apple cover made from Australian sheep leather for only $9,900.

It will run iOS 15 that ensures your safety by limiting the top speed to the local speed limit. Jail breaking will void your warranty.

The cockpit will feature a single home pedal design that uses force touch, brakes will apply automatically when you lift your foot off the home pedal.

Everything will be controlled with Siri. Here are some examples;

Hey Siri take me to work.
Ok, there are 15 restaurants nearby that serve Pork!

Hey Siri play the next track.
Sorry, I could not find the playlist named next track, would you like me to search the web for "play the next track"?

Ok, lol, I was carried away and bored :D
ROFL. And you'll have to charge it with a lightning cable...
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pika2000 Avatar
67 months ago
I wonder, how the thinness would apply.
One thing I wouldn't worry are the seating space. I mean Phil Schiller and Eddie Cue have to be able to sit in them.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avieshek Avatar
67 months ago
I wonder, how the thinness would apply.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iapplelove Avatar
67 months ago
I use to get excited hearing Apple would enter the automobile market. Now I hope they stay out of it.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

intel vs m1 max chip purple

Benchmarks Confirm Intel's Latest Core i9 Chip Outperforms Apple's M1 Max With Several Caveats

Wednesday January 26, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Benchmark results have started to surface for MSI's new GE76 Raider, one of the first laptops to be powered by Intel's new 12th-generation Core i9 processor. Intel previously said that its new high-end Core i9 processor is faster than Apple's M1 Max chip in the 16-inch MacBook Pro and, as noted by Macworld, early Geekbench 5 results do appear to confirm this claim, but there are several...
General Dropbox Feature

macOS 12.3 Will Include Cloud Storage Changes Affecting Dropbox and OneDrive

Tuesday January 25, 2022 3:31 pm PST by
Dropbox today announced that users who update to macOS 12.3 once that software version becomes available may temporarily encounter issues with opening online-only files in some third-party apps on their Mac. In a support document and an email to customers, Dropbox said it is actively working on full support for online-only files on macOS 12.3 and will begin rolling out an updated version of...
Apple Watch Red Yellow Green Feature 1

Apple Launches Black Unity Braided Solo Loop With 'Unity Lights' Watch Face

Wednesday January 26, 2022 6:05 am PST by
Apple today announced the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop for the Apple Watch, as well as a new downloadable watch face, to celebrate Black History Month. Following the launch of the limited edition Black Unity Apple Watch Series 6 and Sport Band in 2021, Apple today launched the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop as part of its celebrations for Black History Month this year.Apple is launching a...
ios 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 With Fix for Safari Bug That Leaks Browsing Activity

Wednesday January 26, 2022 10:00 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3, the third major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.3 come almost two weeks after the release of iOS and iPadOS 15.2.1, minor bug fix updates. The iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in ...
iOS 15

Everything New in iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4: Face ID With a Mask, Emojis, Apple Card Widget, Universal Control and More

Thursday January 27, 2022 12:08 pm PST by
Apple today seeded the first betas of iOS 15.4, iPadOS 15.4 to developers for testing purposes, adding a slew of new features to the latest iOS operating systems. iOS 15.4 is the biggest update that we've had to iOS 15 to date, and it brings Universal Control, Face ID with a mask, new emojis, and tons more. Face ID With a Mask With iOS 15.4, there is now an option to unlock your iPhone...
mobeewave

Upcoming iOS Update Will Allow iPhones to Accept Credit Cards Directly Using NFC

Wednesday January 26, 2022 6:00 pm PST by
Apple is working on a new payments service that will allow iPhones to accept payments directly on device with no additional hardware, reports Bloomberg. Right now, iPhones can accept credit cards with add-ons like the Square Reader, but Apple's new technology will eliminate the need for a third-party product. Individuals and small businesses will be able to accept payments with the tap of a...
macOS Monterey on MBP Feature

Apple Releases macOS Monterey 12.2 With Safari Vulnerability Fix

Wednesday January 26, 2022 10:19 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Monterey 12.2, the second major update to the macOS Monterey update that launched in October. macOS Monterey 12.2 comes over a month after the release of the 12.1 update, which brought SharePlay support. The ‌‌‌macOS Monterey 12.2‌‌ update can be downloaded on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. Apple has also...