After many months of rumours, Apple has acknowledged for the first time that it is investing in building a self-driving car.
The BBC reports that Apple has written to American regulators saying it is “excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation”.
It added that there were “significant societal benefits of automated vehicles” to be realised.
MacRumours reports that the firm has already registered several car-related domains including apple.car and apple.auto.
The BBC quotes a company spokesman for Apple sayin that the letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was prompted by its “heavy investment in machine learning and autonomous systems” and that it wanted to help define best practices in the industry.
The five-page letter, written by Apple’s director of product integrity Steve Kenner, urges the regulator to not introduce too many rules on the testing of self-driving cars, saying that “established manufacturers and new entrants should be treated equally.”
It also proposes that companies in the industry share data from crashes and near-misses in order to build a more comprehensive picture than one company could manage alone, and therefore enable the design of better systems.