Apple is “excited” about the potential of self-driving cars

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(credit: Andrew Cunningham)

Conflicting rumors of Apple’s connected car plans have been swirling for some time. But a new letter written by Apple’s director of product integrity Steve Kenner to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sheds some light into the company’s plans. In the letter, Kenner writes that Apple is “excited” about the potential of automated transportation, and that the company is “investing heavily” into machine learning that could support such systems.

“Apple uses machine learning to make its products and services smarter, more intuitive, and more personal,” Kenner states in the letter. “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 states that companies making self-driving vehicles and connected cars should follow “rigorous safety principles,” however those rules shouldn’t prevent companies from making “consequential progress.” Also, the letter emphasizes the necessity of sharing “crash and near-misses” data to improve this technology, but that shouldn’t compromise user privacy.

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