Apple joins U.S. Department of Transportation’s new Automation Committee

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, is listed as one of the 25 members who joined the United States Department of Transportation’s (DOT) new Automation Committee. This means that the iPhone maker will play an active role in overseeing self-driving vehicles and helping determine the future of transportation.

Prior to joining Apple in 2013 to lead environmental initiatives, Lisa Jackson served as Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

According to DOT’s press release Thursday, the new advisory committee is scheduled to hold its first meeting on January 16 to immediately begin work on “some of the most pressing and relevant matters facing transportation today,” including the development and deployment of automated vehicles.

“During my time at the Department, we have fostered some of the most significant technological changes to ever take place in transportation, and we did so while keeping our focus on the safety of the American people,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

”This new automation committee will work to advance life-saving innovations while boosting our economy and making our transportation network more fair, reliable, and efficient.”

The committee counts as its members executives from companies like Amazon, FedEx, Zipcar, Hyperloop One, Uber, National Safety Council and Lyft, as well as General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garrett and Stanford University Professor of Engineering Dr. J. Chris Gerdes.

Back in November, Apple wrote a letter to the United States  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regarding autonomous vehicle polices in an effort to help define the best practices for the industry.

“We’ve provided comments to NHTSA because Apple is investing heavily in machine learning and autonomous systems,” said a company spokesperson at the time.

Today’s development is especially interesting in light of Apple’s secretive Project Titan, which recently switched from building an electric vehicle to developing an autonomous driving software.

Source: Department of Transportation