Lexus RX450s SUV spotted using Apple’s self-driving technology on California highways

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Date: Friday, April 28th, 2017, 05:39
Category: Hardware, News, Software

Less than two weeks after snagging permission to test it test its autonomous-car technology in California, Apple appears to be testing its software on California’s public roads.

A white Lexus RX450h SUV was seen emerging from an Apple facility, complete with a battery of attached sensors. The sensors included Velodyne Lidar Inc.’s top-of-the-range 64-channel lidar, at least two radar and a series of cameras. The sensors appear to be products bought off the shelf from suppliers, rather than custom-made, according to an industry expert who saw the photos.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles cleared Apple to test its software with three vehicles earlier this month. Apple’s “Project Titan”, as it’s been internally dubbed, seems to be an autonomous car project headed up by Apple veteran executive Bob Mansfield. Mansfield took over leadership of the project in 2016 and is said to have reined in the “Apple Car” project to focus on developing autonomous-driving software before the company thinks about building its own car, according to sources close to the project. Before the strategy shift, Apple held talks about licensing its technology to carmakers including Volkswagen AG and BMW AG.

California has so far granted autonomous car testing permits to 30 companies, a mix of tech players, startups, carmakers and automotive suppliers. Lawmakers are rewriting legislation to allow the testing of autonomous cars without the presence of a driver, though the ability to intercede remotely would be required.

Along with Apple, both Alphabet’s Waymo and Zoox Inc. seem to be using the Lexus RX450 models to test their self-driving car technology, according to the California DMV.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via Bloomberg

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