Apple receives permit to test self-driving cars on California roads

Gwen Vasquez
April 20, 2017

The permit gives Apple the right to operate three 2015 Lexus RX450h SUVs equipped with hardware and software to be allow autonomous driving, according to Business Insider.

We should discover more about it, as the permit needs public reporting of crashes involving the test vehicles and how frequently they need human intervention.

The California-based tech giant is expected to focus on software systems, letting partners manufacture vehicles, but would understandably want to be able to test its navigation technology in cars.

"The company is investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation", Kenner wrote.

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It called for new entrants in the automotive sector not to be penalized by higher regulatory requirements than established manufacturers. Most of the new hires specialized in computer vision, robotics, and visual navigation. Last April, Motor Trend published what it billed as an exclusive set of Apple vehicle renderings - but what was dramatically hyped on social media turned out to be speculative mock-ups by outside artists. Besides Switzerland, Apple has also set up a secret research facility in Berlin to attract German talent and work on the self-driving vehicle. The report included 705 suppliers, including a Bosch manufacturing facility that only makes automobile components.

Analysts said that Apple may accelerate the arrival of a fully autonomous auto to the market.

The iPhone maker has disclosed little about its ambitions when it comes to self-driving vehicles, with chief Tim Cook hinting at plans but the company declining to comment for news reports on long-idling rumors. It does, however, tell us Project Titan is still moving along. The company has been mum on further details. Apple would have loved to keep this under wraps, but unfortunately, they have to get a permit before they begin testing. The company is said to have hundreds of people working on "Project Titan", but progress on the project has reportedly been slowed by multiple departures of key people and debate over the best way forward for the nascent technology.

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