Crucially, Apple also believes that incumbent automakers might have an unfair edge. It wants newcomers to have the "same opportunity" to test self-driving vehicles that more "established" companies do, without having to chase after regulatory exemptions like it would today.
In a statement to the Financial Times, Apple confirmed the letter's core message: the firm wrote to the NHTSA because it's "investing heavily in machine learning and autonomous systems," and it wants to help shape the "best practices" for self-driving cars. It's not confirming what it's making, however, including reports that it scaled back its automotive plans to focus on an underlying tech platform instead of building vehicles. There's no longer any doubt that Apple is interested in driverless cars, but there's also no guarantee that its technology will reach production cars in the first place, let alone that you'll see something Apple-branded on the road.
This article by Jon Fingas originally ran on Engadget, the definitive guide to this connected life.