Little is known about Apple’s car platform, but according to California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, Apple now has a total of 55 self-driving test vehicles and 83 authorised drivers. This is an increase of ten vehicles, in just a couple of months!
Apple’s mysterious fleet is perhaps one of the biggest secrets the company has held, and the company has yet to confirm this new report. It is clear, however, that while Apple has a permit to test autonomous vehicles, they have not yet applied for a separate driverless testing permit. This would enable them to test autonomous vehicles without a person in the car, however, these permits were only first released in April of this year. All Apple’s vehicles are being tested with a safety driver inside.
Rumors first sparked back in 2015, and snippets of information have one been released sporadically. We do know that Apple uses Lexus RX450h sports utility vehicles with advanced LIDAR equipment and a number of cameras, for its software testing.
What remains unclear is exactly what Apple’s plans are for this new technology. Will Apple partner with other car manufacturers, or will they develop their own vehicles? Will this new technology be implemented into a new advanced version of CarPlay? Will the cars feature a heads-up display?