Okay, Apple now shows interest in joining the autonomous vehicle car-manufacturing scene. Consumers and auto enthusiasts can't help but question the decision. Questions such as "What took them so long when electric vehicles have been in development since 2002? Which is more than a decade ago." and "is this just a business move?" or "are they really into making the road a safer place for everyone?" are some that comes to mind. Let's take a look at what we know up to this point.
Here's What We Know So Far
Former employees of Apple Inc. gave revelations, as early as February 2015, that the company is making their move in investing billions of dollars to the development of smart cars, allegedly named 'Project Titan." Reports also came out about Apple buying the British car company McLaren, but were never confirmed. Dozens of employees were also fired to give way to the development of Project Titan.
Steve Kenner, Apple's director of product integrity, submitted a five-page letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration telling their interest in autonomous car technology. "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," Kenner wrote in the letter. They are also urging regulators to give equal treatment to manufacturers and not to impose too many restrictions. Apple mentioned that there are certain areas that need exclusive attention, such as software that decides or reacts in certain hazardous situations.
Autonomous Cars Can Threaten The Employment Rate Worldwide
Algorithms that will decide for the safety and mobility should be implicated, one that ensures the legality of the occupants and the automated vehicle, privacy and security of the design, and how autonomous cars can impact public spaces and employment. According to analysts, the development of autonomous cars can greatly affect the employment rate of people involved in the car industry. The smart cars can threaten the industry of public transportation and have a huge possibility of replacing trucks, taxis, and Uber drivers. Automotive shops will also be greatly affected as these cars may most likely have no need for vehicle repairs or repairs might be exclusive to their manufacturers.
Apple spokesman, Tom Neumayr, said in an email statement "there are many potential applications for these technologies, including the future of transportation, so we want to work with the National Highway traffic Safety Administration to help define the best practices for the industry." A collaboration with the NHTSA will be a significant move towards the development of safe autonomous cars. This might be a game changer for Apple since there were no known reports of the other manufacturers working in collaboration with the NHTSA, other than submitting and complying with their regulations.
Worst Move Or Best Move By Apple
Everyone is curious on how Apple would fare in the autonomous vehicle race. Yes, it may be too late as other manufacturers have developed these types of vehicles way before Apple decided to do so. But the decision for Apple to wait it out could also be the best decision they have made as they have seen the flaws and can now work towards eliminating them and going more advanced with the self-driving car technology.