Apple boss Tim Cook says self-driving car project is more of an AI research effort

Siri, take the wheel

Apple CEO Tim Cook has finally come clean about Apple’s plans for a self-driving car. Well, sort of. It’d be more accurate to say he’s come clean about a self-driving car system that the company has been working on. In an interview with Bloomberg, Cook said the project – which has been rumored to have the name “Project Titan”– was really more about AI research than actually building and selling a self-driving automobile.

Cook called the effort “the mother of all AI projects” and said self-driving tech is a “major disruption” that is looming on the horizon. He said he believes three current technologies – self-driving tech, electric vehicles, and ride-hailing services – will ultimately change the transportation industry. But what will become of Project Titan? It’s not clear, but Apple has filed paperwork to drive around three modified Lexus SUVs to test out their handiwork so stay tuned.

Perhaps a child will lead him

Some more E3 bits for you: super-hot gaming icon Nintendo gets their time in the spotlight today, but Sony’s reveal of God of War 4 had everyone’s attention yesterday, and for good reason. The game that started out on the Playstation 2 is back, and in a big way. Central character Kratos is off on a perilous journey with his young son, who says “he knows the truth now.”

What truth is that? Kratos has some dark secrets in his past, but first, there’s going to be some fighting before there are more father/son heart-to-heart chats. Oh, and there’s a really, really big snake as well – who could be an ally. God of War 4 won’t be released until next year, so to tide you over, hit this link for details and trailers for every game Sony profiled at the big show, and of course, we’ve got full coverage of E3 going on full-time at on our dedicated page.

Turns out maybe money can buy more safety

We just tested the Tesla Model X electric minivan/SUV, and while we handed back our $162,000 version of Tesla latest people pod without a single scratch on it or French fry in the cup holders, the folks at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, were far, far less kind. They intentionally smacked the thing into a concrete wall at 35 miles an hour, so we hope they have really good insurance.

Of course, what they were really doing was testing the crash-worthiness of the car, and Elon Musk and company will be happy to hear their latest creation scored 5-stars on every aspect of the test. They also tested rollover tendency – almost none – and several other safety aspects. The Tesla Model S also received high marks when it was tested a couple of years ago.

Tesla claims that since the cars don’t have big heavy engines like gas-powered automobiles, they are able to engineer a much safer vehicle, and so far, both tests and crashes involving the car seem to bear this out. Tesla was stung last year when a driver was killed while their Model S was being driven using Auto-pilot, and it hit a truck.

You can watch the videos of the Model X crash test at this link, but it may hurt your wallet to watch it.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

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