For long people have been speculating about Apple launching autonomous cars, and now finally Tim Cook, the CEO himself has given a confirmation that the tech giant is working on autonomous vehicle technology.
In Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), cook confirmed, “We’re focusing on autonomous [driving] systems.”
According to Cook there is a “major disruption looming” for the automotive industry, thanks to self-driving technology, ride sharing and electric automobiles, which according to him are a “marvellous experience”.
Cook believes that for Apple, self-driving vehicle systems are a “core technology that we view as very important” and about the challenged he said, “the mother of all AI projects”.
When asking about Apple producing its own car, Tim just said, “We’ll see where it takes us. We’re not really saying from a product point of view what we will do.”
This is the first time a senior professional from the typically secretive organization has publicly discussed its self-driving technology efforts.
This project has been around since 2014 and known as Project Titan and there were news about Apple’s autonomous vehicle plans for a few years now, with reports showing it was initially planning to develop its own self-driving electric car.
Within the last year, the company has gained approval to test its autonomous vehicle technology on public roads in the US.
In December, a letter came from Apple to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), where the company asked clarification about the agency’s reporting requirements. More recently, Apple asked the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to relax its public reporting requirements.
Recognized automakers, parts suppliers, and Silicon Valley companies, like Google and Uber, are all busy working on autonomous vehicles and self-driving car technology.
Apple also has skin in the ride sharing game via last year’s investment of US$1 billion ($1.3 billion) in Didi Chuxing, a service primarily focused on China.