It's Official: Apple Will Test Self-Driving Cars In California!

Apple Inc. has secured a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California. Apple has recruited dozens of auto experts in recent years, and the permit pulls the curtain back a bit on any possible plan.

By Carandbike Team


1 mins read


Published on April 26, 2017

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  • Apple Inc has secured a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California
  • Apple will use six 2015 Lexus RX450h for its testing
  • Ford, GM, Volkswagen, BMW & others are also working on autonomous cars
From a company that is known for their tech prowess and sheer design to one that will soon be foraying into cars, Apple has been very quiet about their plans to get into the mobility business. That said, recently, it did apply for permits to test out some self-driving cars in its home state of California and the California Department of Motor Vehicles has now officially granted permission to do so. The permit will allow Apple to test a fleet of self-driving cars with what is possibly a bouquet of its own new software and hardware to take on the likes of other tech giants like Google and Tesla who have forayed into the auto space.

The Apple Car, if and when it becomes a reality will also take on the likes of conventional automakers like Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen, FCA, Honda, BMW and Mercedes amongst others, all of which have either current or future plans for autonomous car technology.

What is interesting here is the fact that Apple has never openly acknowledged that it's looking into building an autonomous car. But the fact that the company has sought permission to test autonomous cars on public roads does indicate the possibility. The Silicon Valley-based tech giant has recruited dozens of auto experts in recent years to develop their technology. In fact, with the recent lack of rumours about this project, the other strong rumour that the whole automotive project has been cancelled also surfaced prominently.

Commenting on the topic, Michael Ramsey, a self-driving car analyst said, "For a company that has yet to publicly acknowledge its efforts in this area, this is as close to a tacit admission. It will be interesting to see what form the test vehicles take and what can be gleaned about Apple's strategy." Whereas, Chris Theodore, president of consultancy Theodore & Associates, and a former vice president at Ford Motor Co and Chrysler said, "This does confirm what's long been rumoured: that Apple is at least toying with the idea of getting into the autonomous game in some capacity."

It is still unclear though what route Apple will take with its automotive division. Unlike Google, Apple has always tried to attract the higher end of any market it has entered which means that it could intend to take on the likes of Tesla, Mercedes-Benz and Audi amongst others and not the lower end of the market which could see the likes of the upcoming Google car's dominance. Whether or not the Apple Car will be luxurious or sporty or both is also anyone's guess as are their India plans with this new mobility project.

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