Apple has joined the list of companies with permits to test self-driving cars in California, according to an updated roster released on Friday by state officials.
The permit allows Apple to begin testing up to three Lexus SUVs similar to the type that Google uses for its autonomous cars.
Apple reportedly has been working on a driverless auto for several years under the code name Project Titan, but has never publicly disclosed the effort despite issuing opinions about regulations for driverless cars. Besides, it's one thing to test self-driving software in a lab and a completely different thing to test it out on the open road where driving conditions and the behavior of other drivers and pedestrians can be wholly unpredictable.
Apple is racing with other tech companies and automakers including Google, Uber, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), Baidu USA LLC, General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and many others in developing and testing self-driving cars.
Apple declined to comment, referring to public remarks that it had submitted to federal highway authorities in November on its research into automation.
Apple is now employing the use of machine learning to make its products and services smarter, and as a result, more intuitive.
So, Apple's vision for autonomous systems clearly extends beyond transportation, but for now, they appear to be getting ready to burn some rubber (um, hopefully not) in California with their latest self-driving software.
Kenner also said Apple supports various methods of crash simulations and cybersecurity and safety analysis. Under California law, self-driving cars that are being tested must have a person in them who can take over if anything goes wrong. At last, the company's secretive efforts was crowned by the success.
Apple is the 30th company to be approved by the state for autonomous vehicle testing. This means that Apple's self-driving initiative, codenamed Project Titan, is back on track. While it's extremely unlikely that we'll ever see a true "Apple Car"-we could see cars driven by Apple in the very near future".
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