Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Apple's California Self-Driving Car Test Fleet Continues to Grow

Apple Holds Product Launch Event At New Campus In Cupertino There is definitely a non-zero chance that these two are testing self-driving cars in a volcano lair
Emmett Howard | 16 May, 2018, 07:33

The company's fleet is growing faster than a hipster's beard; from three in April 2017 to 45 in March this year, and now 55 (which we assume are programmed to constantly remind their flannel-shirted occupants how cool, hip and trendy they're being). At this stage, Apple hasn't been authorized to test self-driving cars independent of human supervision; for that, the company will need to submit a separate permit to the DMV - something Waymo did last month. This would enable them to test autonomous vehicles without a person in the auto, however, these permits were only first released in April of this year.

Apple has doubled the number of its self-driving cars this year, and now has the second-largest fleet in California, Mac Reports first pointed out. Apple actually has more self-driving cars in testing than self-driving pioneers such as Waymo (51) and Tesla (39), as well as big automotive companies like BMW (12), Toyota (11), and Mercedes Benz (5). "Apple is second only to General Motors which performs tests with Cruise - its self-driving division". However, those numbers may be somewhat misleading, since other companies are testing their self-driving fleet in other parts of the U.S.as well. The next step, of course, is to test these sensor-equipped vehicles without drivers.

Apple has been secretly working on its own self-driving auto program for years, but during that time it hasn't shared much information about the project. MacReports first reported some of the new details of Apple's fleet.

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Tim Cook said, "We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects".

Apple, however, has not yet received a permit to test self-driving cars without a driver behind the wheel.

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