Apple gets green light to test self-driving cars

Apr 16, 2017, 02:16

While other companies working on self-driving technology have shared their plans, Apple has remained silent about its project for self-driving vehicles.

The same permit granted to Apple was also granted to 29 other companies that include Mercedes, Volkswagen, BMW, Bosch, Nissan, Honda and Ford among others.

Apple has received a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California, according to the state's Department of Motor Vehicles, marking the clearest sign yet that the secretive company is developing self-driving auto technology.

Project Titan supposedly started off as a means to build a self-driving Apple vehicle.

In another sign of the investment in self-driving cars, GM said this week it will add more than 1,100 jobs in California over five years at its Cruise Automation unit to boost its self-driving efforts. California law requires people to be in a self-driving vehicle who can take over if something goes wrong. Apple registered six drivers that monitor these cars. So, why do they need a permit for testing?

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Apple declined to comment on the California permit or on its broader automotive plans, instead referring to a statement released in December a year ago, when it submitted comments about autonomous vehicle technology to the US National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

Apple will chip away at this space, and at some stage reveal their plans - you'd be mad to assume it's the future of Apple, but you'd also be mad to assume it won't be a huge part of their future - this is one company that's very hard to read and predict at the best of times. It now seems that Apple is working in partnership to develop technology with an established manufacturer of motor vehicles. He expects the firm is creating a safe and effective autonomous-driving system based on computer vision, laser-based navigation and mapping, while also building an in-car environment for passengers that leverages Apple's dominant position in entertainment and workspace technology.

The thing is, the permit is for the cars themselves, but actually applies to the technology behind the self-driving capability of those cars.

The Californian Department of Motor Vehicles (CDMV) permission allows Apple to test drive vehicles on public roads.