Jun 13, 2017

Tim Cook confirms Apple is working on self-driving cars

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Apple CEO Tim Cook has, for the first time, confirmed the company's plans for developing self-driving cars.

"We're focusing on autonomous systems," Cook told Bloomberg Television on June 5. "We sort of see it as the mother of all AI [artificial intelligence] projects."

Why this matters: Although Apple has been rumored to be working on some sort of self-driving car technology for the past few years, the Bloomberg interview marks the first time Cook has discussed the specifics of Apple's autonomous vehicle plans. Last week, Cook hinted that Apple may have AI news coming soon when he told MIT Technology Review the company shouldn't be discounted as being on the cutting edge of AI technology just because they "don't wan't to talk about" their plans.

What we previously knew about Apple's plans:

  • Apple has been working on building its own self-driving vehicle since 2014, in an effort known as "Project Titan," but last year the company decided to refocus their plans to developing the backend autonomous driving technology.
  • In April, the company received a permit from the California DMV to test self-driving cars in the state. The permit also revealed they had hired six former NASA employees to test self-driving cars.
  • A filing with the state revealed new details about what their AI plans might entail.

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Updates: George Floyd protests continue past curfews

Protesters on Tuesday evening by the metal fence recently erected outside the White House. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday night across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day — prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: Protesters were still out en masse for mostly after curfews were in force in cities including Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles and Portland — where police used pepper spray and flash bangs on a group throwing projectiles at them during an "unlawful assembly," per KATU. Portland police said this group was separate to the thousands of demonstrators who protested peacefully elsewhere in the city.

Primary elections test impact of protests, coronavirus on voting

Election official at a polling place at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In the midst of a global pandemic and national protests over the death of George Floyd, eight states and the District of Columbia held primary elections on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, needs to win 425 of the 479 delegates up for grabs in order to officially clinch the nomination. There are a number of key down-ballot races throughout the country as well, including a primary in Iowa that could determine the fate of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

Iowa Rep. Steve King defeated in GOP primary

Rep. Steve King. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

State Sen. Randy Feenstra defeated incumbent Rep. Steve King in Tuesday's Republican primary for Iowa's 4th congressional district, according to the Cook Political Report.

Why it matters: King's history of racist remarks has made him one of the most controversial politicians in the country and a pariah within the Republican Party.