One of the biggest ‘will they or won’t they’ questions in the technology sector this year came out of Apple, in relation to its plans for a self-driving car project. First, the so-called ‘Project Titan’ was all but confirmed, and then after several months, reports surfaced saying the project had been significantly scaled back. While it seemed Apple is still working on technology related to cars, the significance of that work remains unclear.
This week, in a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the United States, Apple expressed strong interest in automation and machine learning technology in the transportation system. The letter is a response to a request for comment from the NHTSA regarding a new “Federal Automated Vehicles Policy,” which aims to guide the future of regulating self-driving cars in the United States.
Since Apple is obviously investing heavily in automation for this project, it makes sense that the company would try to have some input on any new regulation policy, even if no full Apple-designed car ever makes it to showrooms.
Since many of the company’s ore nebulous plans relate to transportation in one way or another, it’s in Apple’s best interest to be involved in any government discussion on future directions.