Apple met with officials from California’s Department of Motor Vehicles to discuss plans regarding the self-driving car it’s believed to be developing, according to a new report from The Guardian’s Mike Harris.
The documents indicate that Mike Maletic, a senior legal counsel at Apple, held an hour-long meeting with Bernard Soriano, the DMV’s deputy director, Stephanie Daugherty, chief of strategic planning, and Brian Soublet, the DMV’s deputy director and chief of counsel.
Both Soriano and Daugherty are cosponsors of the state’s autonomous driving project, as The Guardian notes.
The DMV also confirmed to the publication that the meeting with Apple was held to review the department’s autonomous vehicle regulations, but didn’t disclose any further details about what was discussed.
Rumours that Apple has been developing its own self-driving car have been swirling for months. Apple has made several hires over the past several months that indicate it’s indeed working on some type of electric car. Doug Betts, formerly of Fiat Chrysler, joined the company in July, for instance. The first report suggesting that Apple has plans to work on a car of its own came from The Wall Street Journal back in February, and rumours have been circulating ever since.
Apple’s self-driving car project is believed to be called Project Titan, and a design of the car looks similar to that of a minivan, reported The Wall Street Journal. The initiative is reportedly being led by Steve Zadesky, who oversaw the production of the iPhone and iPod and previously worked at Ford.
Apple hasn’t publicly discussed or confirmed any plans to get into the auto industry. But the reports come at a time when Google and Uber are both entering the autonomous driving space.
Jeff Williams, Apple’s vice president of operations, suggested that the car is of interest to Apple in an interview with Re/code’s Walt Mossberg, calling the car the “ultimate mobile device.” He later clarified that this was in reference to CarPlay, Apple’s connected car software, but his comments sparked speculation nonetheless.
When Apple CEO was asked whether or not the company is working on a self-driving car on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” he simply replied:
“We look at a number of things along the way, and we decide to really put our energies in a few of them.”
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