Apple given permission to test self-driving cars in California

  • Apple given permission to test self-driving cars in California

Apple given permission to test self-driving cars in California

According to the latest information, Apple has registered with the state of California to test self-driving vehicles.

Few details have been revealed about Apple's plans for self-driving cars, according to Autotrader executive analyst Michelle Krebs. Apple is said to have dozens of engineers working on a auto OS in Canada, and will reportedly decide on a final direction for its vehicle endeavors by fall of this year.

Apple reps didn't respond to requests for comment. A March 30 copy of the website does not list Apple as having approval, indicating it was granted within the last two weeks.

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.

A quarter of all miles driven in the USA may happen in shared, self-driving electric cars by the end of the next decade, Boston Consulting Group said this month.

Apple's possession of the permit indicates that the company could begin testing autonomous vehicles on California roads, and an Apple source reportedly told Bloomberg that testing would begin "soon", but no specific time frame was given.

Apple's director of product integrity, Steve Kenner, wrote a letter in November to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) asking that "new warrants" in the self-driving vehicle field be granted the same testing privileges as "established manufacturers".

Rumors have circulated for years that Apple is planning some kind of vehicle, and now we know for sure that a research group is testing something.

Asked for comment on Friday's developments, an Apple spokesperson referred back to the company's December statement regarding the statements given to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

For years, annual iPhone rumors have been forced to compete with similarly hyped whisperings regarding the possibility of an Apple self-driving auto. It joins other tech companies, such as Google, Uber, Baidu and Nvidia - plus the usual carmakers, including Tesla - on the list. This could send Apple for a loop, as the company is notorious for keeping all of their testing info a secret prior to launching new products.

Per California DMV's policy, companies are required to file disengagement reports which disclose general facts about their driverless vehicle programs, including miles travelled.