Most major manufacturers, but also many technological groups are now working on autonomous vehicles, considered with the electric as the future of the automobile, with first series productions promised around 2020.
As the state DMV tries to establish a path for the testing and deployment of fully autonomous vehicles in California, the largest and most populous among the 50 states in America, proposed new regulations were published last March 10, to be followed by a public hearing scheduled for April 25 in the state capital of Sacramento. He expects the firm is creating a safe and effective autonomous-driving system based on computer vision, laser-based navigation and mapping, while also building an in-car environment for passengers that leverages Apple's dominant position in entertainment and workspace technology.
But wait. Didn't Apple scrap its Project Titan (the one it never acknowledged until it said it was not going to make any self-driving cars) and start focusing only on the software part of autonomous driving technology?
In December, Apple had already written to the US Federal Road Safety Agency (NHTSA) to advise on draft guidelines for stand-alone cars. So, despite laying off or reassigning "hundreds" of people who had been working on the secretive Project Titan auto project, Apple seems to have perhaps just pivoted and may be interested in developing its own version of a self-driving apparatus that they can then sell to other companies.
As per California DMV, "The California Autonomous Vehicle Testing Regulations require every manufacturer authorized to test autonomous vehicles on public roads to submit an annual report summarizing the disengagements of the technology during testing".
Apple was not immediately available for comment.
We all knew that Apple had the hots for cars. Apple has reportedly a thousand workers assigned to the Project Titan.
That statement from Apple's director of product integrity (previously of Ford), Steve Kenner, included this line: "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".
Aside from the new permit, Apple has provided little insight into its vehicle-related efforts.