Apple granted self-driving test permit

Barsaba Taglieri
Aprile 17, 2017

This permit isn't the first time Apple's company name has been listed in this space, having previously made government submissions - and it's unlikely you'll see Lexus vehicles with an Apple logo on the side. A company source told Bloomberg that autonomous vehicle testing would begin "soon", but declined to specify any further. The company is only testing components of a self-driving auto.

It has always been known that Apple is working on automotive-related projects, but the company has never publicly confirmed any details.

The first auto company to be granted this permit was the Volkswagen Group of America.

"There are many potential applications for these technologies, including the future of transportation, so we want to work with NHTSA to help define the best practices for the industry", Apple wrote to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Apple was so mum about the project that some thought it may have been shuttered, said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst for Autotrader.

According to Apple spokesperson, test drive should improve artificial intelligence systems that must learn the ways to interact with an unpredictability of human drivers.

Apple became the 30th company granted the permission on Friday after the DMV updated its list of manufacturers testing self-driving cars. "Apple believes that companies should invest the resources necessary to protect individuals' fundamental right to privacy".

Apple has not commented - other than to point to its letter late a year ago expressing an interest in the technology. Now it appears that Apple are shortly to reveal what it has been up to in relation to automotive-related projects.

Apple, of course, is no exception to this trend, and the latest evidence from Cupertino, California indicates that they're about to make another radical leap from their origins in computers. Public records also showed that the company had asked officials in the Contra Costa Transportation Authority about their self-driving-car testing site at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station.

Internally known as Project Titan, the project at one point was understood to have more than 1,000 employees working on it, though the current scale of Apple's efforts is unknown.

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