Number of Apple’s self-driving cars has now raised to 55, which was 27 earlier. Last year, Apple had only 3 self-driving cars registered with California Department of Motor Vehicles. This number raised to 27 and now it is 55 expanding autonomous testing. So, Apple has second largest number of self-driving cars in the US state California with 55 self-driving cars and 83 drivers. In tech industry, Apple’s autonomous vehicle program is one of the biggest mysteries. Over the past several years, the company is not saying anything about the project, but the leaks says a lot. Now, Apple has more number of cars registered than Waymo. According to the California DMV, Waymo has 51 self-driving cars registered. Still, Apple follows General Motor’s Cruise, which leads this race with 104 cars. DMV has permitted total 53 companies for self-driving cars which also includes safety drivers. So, in total there are 409 vehicles and 1,573 safety drivers in this list. Elon Musk’s Tesla also follows Apple with 39 cars. These 53 companies are permitted to test self-driving cars with safety drivers on the board. But, DMV has not permitted any of the company for complete driverless test. If any of the company wants to have complete driverless test, it must have previously tested the vehicles in safety conditions.
Apple’s self-driving project code-named as “Project Titan” is made up of Lexus RX450h SUVs according to the reports. Each SUV is fitted with huge racks of LIDAR and radar sensors and cameras. It is interesting to note that Apple has yet to apply for a separate driverless testing permit. With this permit, the company would be able to test autonomous vehicles without a driver in the car. For vehicles, it is necessary to meet the definition of an SAE Level 4 or 5 vehicle. According to a DMV spokesperson, it is currently reviewing two driverless testing. Issue for the driverless permits has begun for April of this year. According to rumors, Apple will certainly build its autonomous software/hardware suite but will license it to other manufacturers. Rather than building its own Apple-branded self-driving car, it will build autonomous system for others to develop such self-driving vehicles. It will be interesting what Apple does as it can go with both the developing an autonomous system for other manufacturers or develop its own self-driving cars. Also, how others react to the Apple’s decision will be worth noting.
What would you prefer? An Apple-branded self-driving car or a system developed by Apple in other car manufacturers?