It has been rumoured but never confirmed. That was until now. Apple CEO Tim Cook has reportedly confirmed that the world’s most profitable technology company is working on driverless cars as part of its efforts on develop autonomous systems. Although there are no other details that Cook offered about Apple’s driverless cars, there are rumours that Apple’s cars could be shown in public in 2019.
In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Cook confirmed the Cupertino-giant was focussing on self-driving technology. “We’re focusing on autonomous systems,” he said in the interview. “It’s a core technology that we view as very important.”
Apple was granted the license to run self-driving vehicles on the streets of California earlier this year in March. The company had first approached the California’s Department of Motor Vehicles in 2015. However, it performed most of AI car tests secretly. The news of Apple testing self-driving cars first came into out when the company submitted a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in November 2016 in which it expressed its interest for AI cars.Read more ↓
“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,” Apple said in the letter. Apple has kept its plan for AI cars under the wraps for nearly two years now. This is for the first time that the company has gone about its AI cars.
“We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects,” Cook said in his latest interview, referring to the driverless cars. “Autonomy is what excites us and we’ll see where it takes us.”
Autonomous cars is one of the most important sections that the tech world is focussing on right now. There are reports that Apple employed over 1000 employees to assist on Project Titan car, codename for Apple’s electric car team in year 2014. However, the company last year shelved its electric car plans and focussed again on AI cars.
Apple’s AI car project when it hits the road, will compete against Google, Uber and Tesla. These companies are also focussing on self-driving cars. Google and Uber have already done the test run of their AI cars. Tesla’s NVIDIA’s Drive PX 2 — the supercomputer that will Tesla AI cars — has also been revealed in pictures.
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