Apple letter to U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows interest in autonomous vehicle testing, inter-company data sharing

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Date: Monday, December 5th, 2016, 05:15
Category: Apple Car, Hardware, News

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Just when you thought Apple might have backed off a bit from the self-driving car market, this shows up.

Last week, the company submitted a letter to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that suggests it’s currently eager to work with other companies in a data-sharing effort but is also keen to preserve privacy, which is in line with the hard-line stance it took in the Apple-FBI controversy earlier this year.

The letter is perhaps the most tangible proof of Apple’s interest in the autonomous vehicle market and offers the following passage written by Steve Kenner, Apple’s director of product integrity, on November 22nd:

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Apple hires former QNX staff, begins efforts in Canada towards Project Titan

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Date: Thursday, October 27th, 2016, 05:55
Category: Apple Car, Hardware, Rumor, Siri, Titan

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Apple has both taken the long view of its Project Titan automative effort and settled it in Canada.

Apple apparently has “dozens” of software engineers working out of an office outside of Ottawa, Ontario—just a five minute walk from BlackBerry’s QNX division, which provides automotive software. In fact, about two dozen of Apple’s engineers reportedly came directly from QNX.

The hires include former QNX CEO Dan Dodge and Derrick Keefe, a software engineer with decades of experience under his belt.

While QNX doesn’t currently product autonomous driving software, it is on the company’s list of goals. QNX has already reached a deal with AdasWorks to integrate AdasWorks’ software into QNX’s operating system, which already powers systems like BMW ConnectedDrive, Ford Sync3, Buick Intellilink, and others, in more than 60 million vehicles.

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Rumor: Apple hires Dan Dodge to head up car project, may be shifting focus towards autonomous driving systems

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Date: Thursday, July 28th, 2016, 16:57
Category: Apple Car, Rumor

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Apple could still be working on a car project, but could be taken it in a new direction.

Bob Mansfield, the Apple executive who led up efforts on the iMac, iPad, MacBook Air and Apple Watch, has apparently been put in charge of Apple’s car project. Mansfield’s first action has been to hire former BlackBerry developer Dan Dodge, who arrives at Apple with an extensive operating system development background.

Mansfield apparently tapped Dodge to work on autonomous driving software for Apple’s car division, code-named Project Titan, signaling that the company is pivoting from building its own car to making the tech that will power the next generation of cars. Or, more likely, Apple is covering all of its bases and seeing whether hardware, software, or a combination of both will succeed.

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Rumor: Steve Zadesky’s departure from Apple could delay Titan project

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Date: Monday, January 25th, 2016, 07:59
Category: Apple Car, Rumor

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This could put a crimp in the Titan project/Apple’s car plans.

The current rumor has it that Apple’s Steve Zadesky, who is said to be leading Apple’s ‘Titan’ project, is leaving the company.

Zadesky is apparently leaving for personal reasons and not due to performance-related issues.

While this is a setback, it’s unknown as to how deep the impact of his departure will be and if a replacement is being groomed to take over.

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