Apple reveals self-driving car ambitions

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Apple’s self-driving car ambitions appear to be still going strong despite reports that the initiative was in shambles. Proof of this comes in the form of a letter the company recently submitted to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which talked about its views on autonomous vehicles.

The letter, written by Apple’s director of product integrity Steve Kenner, highlights just how committed the brand is towards the self-driving sector. It openly discusses how the firm is investing a great deal in the study of machine learning and automation.

Tellingly, the memo touches upon how excited the company is for the potential of automated systems in many areas such as transportation. It further wants the NHTSA to pay special attention to 3 areas of interest when it comes to ethics.

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One concerns the implication of automatic decisions for the car and its passengers, the other security and privacy challenges, and the last the impact of automatic cars on the public such as employment and public spaces.

Kenner went on to discuss industry rules when it comes to sharing knowledge. Apple seems to be open to working with others but wants to have control over the precise arrangements of such a commitment. In particular, it wants the brands involved to share scenario and dynamics data from crashes and near-misses.

Apple thinks this will give way to a more comprehensive dataset which wouldn’t be possible if it was created by just one firm working solo. This in turn would allow for all industry stakeholders to design systems which better detect and react to a wide range of scenarios.

Apple went on to discuss another pressing matter concerning new entrants to the vehicle market. It wants such players to have the same opportunities which established manufacturers enjoy when it comes to evaluating public roads without having to get exemptions.