Apple's chief executive Tim Cook has confirmed that the iPhone giant is working on self-driving cars for the first time. Set off by reports that Apple had hired engineers with relevant experience for something known as "Project Titan", Apple never said anything publicly about the project. At Apple's WWDC conference last June 5th, Ceo Cook said in an interview "We are focusing on autonomous systems." He also added, "It is a core technology that we view as very important."
The company has long been speculated to be working closely on autonomous driving and vehicles fitted with driverless technology have even been seen around the company's California headquarters. Self-driving vehicles are seen as a huge opportunity for technology companies, with Uber and Google among those developing the software.
Moreover, the company has never confirmed that it is working on car technology before, though, according to a source, Apple has recruited dozens of automotive experts from companies like Mercedes-Benz and Ford. Interestingly, it has more than 1,000 engineers working on automotive.
Managing director at Oppenheimer & Co. Andrew Uerkwitz said that controlling an autonomous vehicle's operating system may also open up opportunities for apps in and around the car. However, Uerkwitz said it's hard to see a connection between their broader software platforms and self-driving cars.
Furthermore, CEO Tim Cook views a system that will enable autonomous driving as a major technical challenge, calling it "the mother of all AI projects." It is notably more realistic than statements from executives at other companies working on autonomous driving tech, many of whom seem to take for granted that the technology will be arriving soon. Several automakers have set aggressive goals for deploying self-driving cars in the next couple of years.