Is it a car? Is it a robot? Nobody knows because, Apple’s being super secretive about their whole self-driving car project. But the first clue to confirming that they are up to something came in a letter written by Apple, to US transport officials, in which Apple gushed how they were ‘excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transport’.
Ok – so it’s not an outright admission that they’re definitely building/making/designing a self-driving car, but is the clearest indication that Apple are actually doing something. Needless to say, whatever Apple have got going on in relation to autonomous cars – tech heads are giddy with excitement.
Apple’s letter also went on to reaffirm that they’re up to something by saying they had a ‘heavy investment in machine learning and autonomous systems’. They also wanted to ensure that a best practice code was in place and that the self-driving cars arena should be a level playing (or should that be driving?) field for all companies and manufacturers involved.
So, what other clues are there to clear up the fuzzy but intriguing picture of what Apple are actually doing? Well, for starters, there have been reports that Apple are looking for somewhere to test a self-driving car; they’ve also employed experts in cars and automotive technology to work on their so-called ‘Project Titan’. Plus, Apple have also registered the domain names apple.car and apple.auto which is perhaps a promise of things to come?
But testing sites and domain names aside, there are some who are certain that Apple’s involvement in self-driving cars comes in the form of the technology involved, and that they’re designing and building the software rather than fitting together actual nuts, bolts and engines. Apple would then presumably be looking at working with an existing car manufacturer and selling their software to them.
Of course, although self-driving cars are closer than we think, they’re still not an everyday occurrence.