In a letter to the National Highway and Traffic Administration NHTSA Apple for the first time publicly confirmed their interest in the development of autonomous vehicles. In the letter from November 22nd Apple’ director for product integrity Steve Kenner emphasizes the importance in the regulations to allow non-traditional automotive companies to test self-driving vehicles and enter the market.
Kenner highlights the opportunities that autonomous vehicles offer, such as lowering fatalities and accident rates. In the letter he asks the NHTSA administrator to consider removing barriers and granting exceptions for newcomers in the Federal Automated Vehicles Policy. At the same time Kenner assures the NHTSA that Apple will do everything to ensure safety when testing autonomous vehicles.
In the past there have been rumors about Apple building an iCar, also known as Project Titan, but the company kept being very secretive. With this letter Apple confirms for the first time their ambitions to become a player in the automotive industry.