Apple Self-Driving Car Project is Alive

Apple Self-Driving Car Project is Alive

Apple Self-Driving Car Project is Alive

Apple able to start the test drive of its self-drive cars, the California Department of Motor Vehicles has granted an official permission.

Apple - which reportedly put its plans to develop a self-driving auto of its own on the back burner a year ago - has obtained a permit to test its auto software on three 2015 Lexus RX540h vehicles with six different drivers, the DMV said Friday in an e-mailed statement.

Apple has been granted a permit to test self-driving cars on the streets of California.

"Even if they have a permit to test, it is most likely related to iOS, navigation, cameras, and sensors used in some type of autonomous vehicle", says Creative Strategies president Tim Bajarin.

The permit allows Apple to begin testing up to three 2015 Lexus SUVs similar to the type that Google uses for its autonomous cars. Apple executives have never spoken at length about the company's effort in the space, but a number of leaks provide a glimpse at what the company is up to.

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Apple's self-driving technology is being developed in secret company offices in Sunnyvale, California, a short drive from its main Cupertino campus, Bloomberg News has reported. That began to change in December, when the company wrote a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration saying that it was "investing heavily" in machine learning to support autonomous systems, especially in transportation. Apple began to focus more on the self-driving technology a year ago after re-hiring former hardware executive Bob Mansfield to lead the project.

We all knew that Apple had the hots for cars. But a Bosch employee told Apple Insider that the manufacturing plant mentioned in Apple's report makes only automotive and "mobility enhancement" products. Some of the new hires came from companies such as Ford and Tesla, who are also researching self-driving technology.

The DMV has granted dozens of companies the rights to operate self-driving cars in California. Pictured here is an autonomous vehicle on a test run north of London.

Information released by the California DMV on autonomous vehicles also reveals that Google has had the lion's share of autonomous vehicle accidents, so far, during the test period.

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