Date: Monday, April 17th, 2017, 05:48
Category: Hardware, News, Software
Apple’s self-driving car project is another step closer to completion.
The company has been granted a permit that enables it to test autonomous vehicles on public roads in the state of California, according to the California DMV website.
Apple was added to the list of permit holders that are allowed to participate in the Autonomous Vehicle Tester Program in California on Friday, joining companies like Google, Tesla, BMW, Honda, Ford, Nissan, and more.
The permit process for autonomous vehicle testing requires multiple steps, including descriptions of the specific vehicles being tested, which suggests that Apple may have a workable prototype on hand. Whether Apple actually deploys a vehicle remains to be seen. Should Apple begin vehicle testing, the company will need to file public reports.
In California, all companies that participate in the Autonomous Vehicle Testing Program must file Disengagement Reports that outline how many miles were covered with self-driving vehicles, so if Apple does test a vehicle, the information will be shared on the DMV’s website.
Apple’s acceptance into the Autonomous Vehicle Tester Program confirms that the company is working on a car-related project. Previous rumors stated that Apple was working on its own autonomous electric vehicle, but Apple is said to have since transitioned to building an autonomous driving system rather than a full blown car.
Developed under the leadership of Bob Mansfield, Apple’s autonomous driving system could allow it to partner with existing car makers or return to its own car development project in the future. Apple executives have reportedly given the car team until 2017 to prove the feasibility of an Apple-designed autonomous driving system, and its approval to road-test vehicles could be a signal that the project is advancing.
In a recent update, Apple is said to have filed for permit to allow it to start testing its self-deriving car software on public streets. The software is stated to be be installed into existing cars, with the permit covering three 2015 Lexus RX450h SUVs and six drivers, according to a DMV spokesperson.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.