Apple Is Ready to Shake Up the Self-Driving Car Industry

Toby Manning
April 20, 2017

The permit awarded by California's Department of Motor Vehicles is Apple's first for autonomous cars and allows it to test drive vehicles on public roads in the largest USA state by population; Alphabet and Tesla already hold the same permits.

Apple has received California DMV permit for testing self-driving vehicles in California.

Apple will soon begin testing self-driving auto software with existing vehicles, according to a person familiar with the matter.

"Even if they have a permit to test, it is most likely related to iOS, navigation, cameras, and sensors used in some type of autonomous vehicle", says Creative Strategies president Tim Bajarin.

Apple Inc plans to start testing self-driving cars on California roads, the clearest signal yet that the world's most valuable technology company wants to design or build autonomous vehicle technology.

But with its permit, Apple is leaping into an increasingly competitive race to build the world's first mainstream self-driving auto. Other big brands who have been granted this permit are Google, Tesla and Ford.

Apple has not commented - other than to point to its letter late previous year expressing an interest in the technology.

So, Apple's vision for autonomous systems clearly extends beyond transportation, but for now, they appear to be getting ready to burn some rubber (um, hopefully not) in California with their latest self-driving software. "Apple could bring innovation to either cars being retrofitted with the self-driving technology, or to new ones designed from scratch".

Apple executives have been coy about their interest in cars. "The permit covers three vehicles, all 2015 Lexus RX450h, and six drivers", a DMV spokesperson said. Apple has reportedly a thousand workers assigned to the Project Titan.

More information about the company's testing will come with its first report to the California DMV, which requires companies like Uber's Otto and Google's Waymo to report their disengagement rates.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment beyond a statement issued in December when Apple filed paperwork with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding safety practices for self-driving cars.

Other reports by VgToday

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