Apple acknowledges that it’s working on self-driving cars

Apple has sent a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) acknowledging that it is working on self-driving cars. The letter requests that NHTSA facilitate testing of self-driving development vehicles on public roads, as well as provide standards for data sharing and privacy. 

In July, Bloomberg had pointed to the hiring of Dan Dodge, the founder of QNX, as an indicator that Apple was prioritizing development of an autonomous driving system, rather than just an electric car. Bloomberg also highlighted the installation of long-time Apple executive Bob Mansfield as another sign of changes in the project.

The structure of Mansfield's team clearly indicated that Apple was still building a complete solution to the problem of autonomous vehicles, and not just a focus on software development, Mark Hibben writes for Seeking Alpha. Still, in September, the NY Times was reporting that Apple was "rethinking" its strategy in self-driving cars, suggesting that the effort was being scaled back. The chief evidence for the scaling back, according to the Times, was the layoff of "dozens" of employees out of "more than 1,000 employees".

Apple's letter to the NHTSA clearly demonstrates that Project Titan has not reached a dead end.