Apple SVP Joins US Government Committee on Automated Vehicles

It may come as a surprise, but those who have been following Apple have already heard (yet officially unconfirmed) rumours of a possible electric self-driving car: Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives has just joined a new US Department of Transportation (US DOT) committee.

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The newly formed committee was announced yesterday on the US DOT’s website and consists of 25 members, with Apple’s own Lisa Jackson being one of the tech company representatives. Others, such as John Krafcik, CEO of Alphabet’s self-driving project Waymo, as well as officials from Uber, Amazon, Zoox, Lyft, and Hyperloop One, are also part of the committee co-chaired by Mary Barra, General Motors’ chairman and CEO.

The committee will hold its first meeting on January 16, 2017, to “immediately begin work on some of the most pressing and relevant matters facing transportation today, including the development and deployment of automated vehicles”, the release reads. Automation seems to be an essential element of transport they will focus on, according to the press release. “This committee will play a critical role in sharing best practices, challenges and opportunities in automation, and will open lines of communication so stakeholders can learn and adapt based on feedback from each other.”

Apple allegedly has more than 1,000 people working on its self-driving car, Project Titan, and while the company’s secrecy policy has so far successfully prevented any major leaks, Apple recently sent a comment to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration allegedly confirming its work in this area.