Apple Obtains Official Permit to Test Self Driving Cars in California

Apple was added to the list of 29 other companies, including Tesla, Google, Ford and Mercedes, that are testing or planning to test self-driving vehicles in the state of California, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles’s (DMV) website Friday.

It’s unclear if Apple sought to obtain a permit because it wanted to test-drive its own autonomous vehicles or if the company was simply looking to experiment with the rumored autonomous driving features in a future CarPlay version.

The self-driving car platform is designed so that Apple could choose to open it up to existing carmakers or eventually port it to an Apple-designed vehicle, says Bloomberg. The company is said to have shifted to a stronger focus on self-driving technology after Bob Mansfield was put in charge of its car efforts. 

“It is vital that those developing and deploying automated vehicles follow rigorous safety principles in design and production,” reads the letter. “Such principles should not, however, inhibit companies from making consequential progress; there is no need to compromise safety or innovation.”

The company says it’s invested “heavily” in machine learning and autonomous systems.

“There are many potential applications for these technologies, including the future of transportation, so we want to work with NHTSA to help define the best practices for the industry,” according to the firm.


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