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
59 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
59 months ago
I wonder, how the thinness would apply.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
venusboy Avatar
59 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
59 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
59 months ago
I wonder, how the thinness would apply.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iapplelove Avatar
59 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)

Top Stories

iphone12protriplelenscamera

Apple's Orders for Key iPhone 13 Camera Component Expected to Outstrip Entire Android Market

Wednesday June 9, 2021 12:47 am PDT by
Major camera upgrades coming to the iPhone 13 series are putting increased pressure on suppliers to meet Apple's demand for key lens components, according to a new DigiTimes report. Apple has reportedly put Taiwan-based makers of voice coil motor (VCM) components on notice to increase their capacity by 30-40% in order to meet the company's demand, which is expected to outstrip the entire...
live text macos monterey

Several macOS Monterey Features Unavailable on Intel-Based Macs

Wednesday June 9, 2021 8:23 am PDT by
While there are many great new features in macOS Monterey, several of them are not available on Intel-based Macs, according to Apple. On the macOS Monterey features page, fine print indicates that the following features require a Mac with the M1 chip, including any MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac model released since November 2020:Portrait Mode blurred backgrounds in...
m1x mbp tags feature

Apple Lists 'M1X MacBook Pro' in YouTube Tags for WWDC Keynote Video

Wednesday June 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
Before WWDC, rumors largely driven by leaker Jon Prosser suggested that Apple would announce redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros during the conference. Those rumors, however, did not come to fruition. Interestingly, though, Apple lists "m1x MacBook Pro" as a tag for the WWDC keynote uploaded on YouTube. The tag, first spotted by Apple YouTuber Max Balzer on Twitter, is among other...
macos monterey setup assistant

macOS Monterey Allows You to Erase a Mac Without Needing to Reinstall the Operating System

Wednesday June 9, 2021 4:41 pm PDT by
It's been a few days since Apple announced macOS Monterey, and we continue to dig through new features that weren't mentioned during the WWDC keynote, including a much more convenient way of erasing a Mac. Following in the footsteps of the iPhone and iPad, the Mac has gained an "Erase All Content and Settings" option on macOS Monterey. The option allows you to erase all user data and...
apple repair service expansion iphone repair 07072020 big

Apple Agrees to Multimillion-Dollar Settlement After iPhone Repair Technicians Post Customer's Private Photos Online

Monday June 7, 2021 2:44 am PDT by
Apple has paid a 21-year-old millions of dollars in a legal settlement after photos and videos from the customer's iPhone, sent in for repair, were uploaded to Facebook, leading to "severe emotional distress," according to a new report from The Telegraph. The incident occurred in 2016 at a repair facility run by Apple supplier Pegatron in California. The 21-year-old college student sent her...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

New MacBook Pro Shipments Forecasted to Begin in Third Quarter

Tuesday June 8, 2021 8:28 am PDT by
While leaker Jon Prosser claimed that a new MacBook Pro was coming at WWDC, Apple's keynote did not include any new hardware announcements. Instead, it is looking increasingly likely that redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models powered by a faster iteration of the M1 chip will be released in the third or fourth quarter of the year. A paywalled preview of a DigiTimes report today...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With iOS 15: See Apple's New Operating System Update in Action

Tuesday June 8, 2021 3:28 pm PDT by
Apple yesterday unveiled iOS 15, the newest version of the iOS operating system that runs on the iPhone (and the iPad with iPadOS 15). iOS 15 is a significant update that introduces many important new features, and we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a first look at the new software. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Not everything that was announced yesterday is...
imac macbook pro macos monterey

Newer Macs Can Use Another Mac as an External Display on macOS Monterey

Wednesday June 9, 2021 2:10 pm PDT by
One of the key new features of macOS Monterey is the ability to AirPlay content to a Mac from other Apple devices, such as an iPhone, iPad, or another Mac. According to the macOS Monterey features page, AirPlay to Mac works works both wirelessly or wired using a USB cable, with Apple noting that a wired connection is useful when you want to ensure that there's no latency or don't have access to a ...
Dark Sky App Featured

Dark Sky iOS App, Website, and API Now Scheduled to Remain Available Until End of 2022

Thursday June 10, 2021 7:34 am PDT by
Last year, Apple acquired the weather app Dark Sky, and shortly after its purchase, Apple shut down the app for Android. Despite the revamped iOS 15 Weather app taking heavy inspiration from Dark Sky, the weather's app standalone iOS app, web app, and API will remain available until the end of next year, compared to the end of this year, as previously planned. Dark Sky announced in an update ...
photos app remove from featured

iOS 15 Finally Lets You Block Your Exes From Ruining Your Photo Memories

Wednesday June 9, 2021 12:37 pm PDT by
With iOS 15, Apple is introducing more granular control over the people and places that show up in your Photos Memories, letting you fine tune just who makes random appearances in the Photos app and the Photos widget. In iOS 14, the option on the right was available, but in iOS 15, the person-specific option is new You've already been able to select "Suggest Fewer Memories Like This" when...