In the past, Apple has had some trouble wrapping their heads around the idea of a self-driving car. Despite their stumbles, the company is still confident it can get into the automated transportation business.
Apple has always been at the forefront of technology design, with people lining up for days for their products. But one nut they haven’t been able to crack yet is the self-driving car, although it isn’t like they haven’t tried. In September, it laid off dozens of employees who were a part of its self-driving car division, as it was looking to change directions. But it then purchased McLaren later that month, leading some to believe the iCar would end up a reality. And the company has been dropping clues about the direction they are thinking of taking.
In a letter from Steve Kenner, Apple’s director of product integrity, to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the company said it is all for getting into the automotive business and is excited to get started:
“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. Executed properly under NHTSA’s guidance, automated vehicles have the potential to greatly enhance the human experience — to prevent millions of car crashes and thousands of fatalities each year and to give mobility to those without.”
But like it has done in the past, Apple noted how a self-driving car could take some time to roll out. Reuters reported the company would need to take extra precaution with safety abilities:
Since software would decide what actions to take in potentially dangerous situations, Apple said certain areas need special attention. These include the “implications of algorithmic decisions” for the safety, mobility and legality of automated vehicles and their occupants, ensuring privacy and security in design, and the impact of the cars on employment and public spaces.
But the self-driving car may not come to the fruition for awhile, as Reuters reported Apple and other companies are still hoping for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reviews its safety assessment further.