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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Linked by Dan Moren

Apple reportedly ready to road test self-driving car

This story from The Guardian about Apple’s reported interested in cars has been making the rounds:

Apple has been rumoured to be working on a self-driving electric car, codenamed Project Titan, but this is the first time its existence has been documented. In May, Apple senior vice-president Jeff Williams called the car “the ultimate mobile device” and said that Apple was “exploring a lot of different markets … [in which] we think we can make a huge amount of difference”.

I’ve been on record as skeptical about the extent of this car project—might this be about a connected automobile platform rather than a whole car?—though all this smoke suggests some fire. I still have a hard time imagining that Apple would want to get into the messy world of automobile manufacturing and maintenance, but perhaps the model promulgated by Tesla has paved the way.

People have questioned whether or not Apple’s car will have a self-driving capability. From the evidence standpoint, the person Apple was reportedly communicating with at the testing facility was the “program manager for autonomous vehicles,” which seems to support the assertion. And, secondly, if you’re Apple—a company that specializes in technology—and you’re investigating building a car at this particular point in history, why wouldn’t you make it autonomous?