Apple 'Accelerating' Efforts to Catch Up With Self-Driving Competition, Expands California Fleet to 27 Vehicles

Apple has expanded its California fleet of self-driving vehicles from three registered last April to 27 as of early 2018, according to a new report posted by Bloomberg today and sourced from emails with the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Following the first three vehicle registrations, from July 2017 to January 2018 Apple has registered 24 more Lexus RX450h sports utility vehicles in California as part of its self-driving tests. The company is believed to be "accelerating" efforts to catch up to one of the current leaders in the self-driving field, Alphabet's Waymo.

lexussuvselfdriving2

One of Apple's previous self-driving Lexus vehicles spotted on the road last year

Work on the "Apple Car" began circulating in rumors from early 2015, when reports of "Project Titan" emerged and pointed towards upwards of 1,000 employees working on developing an electric vehicle at a secret location near the company's Cupertino headquarters. Over time, the project pivoted away from Apple constructing a vehicle of its own to the development of a self-driving software system, which CEO Tim Cook confirmed last summer.

We're focusing on autonomous systems," Cook said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. "It's a core technology that we view as very important."

"We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects," Cook said in his most detailed comments to date on Apple's plans in the car space. "It's probably one of the most difficult AI projects actually to work on."

Now, Apple is said to be gearing up to compete with Waymo and its self-driving tests, which have currently expanded into six states, encompassing 600 minivans in Phoenix, Arizona alone and now open up to public applicants. Waymo partnered with Lyft last year to begin building a ride-hailing service that aims "to bring autonomous vehicle technology into the mainstream," and then began testing such a service without a safety driver "or any human at all" behind the steering wheel.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Top Rated Comments

justperry Avatar
50 months ago
This could be Apple's next game changer. I'm bored of slightly thinner iPhones, time for something innovative.
If I am honest, right now I don't want to be driven by a car controlled by Apple's software.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JRobinsonJr Avatar
50 months ago
Oh boy... I can't wait!

Me: Hey Siri, take me home!
Siri: OK... now playing "Take me home, country roads" by John Denver
Me: Hey Siri... cancel and take me HOME!
Siri: OK... plotting route to Gnome, Alaska.
Me: Hey Siri... cancel and take me to a Ford Dealer!
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
scottcampbell Avatar
50 months ago
When the cars come out, should I get AppleCare+, or just an Otterbox?
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sinsin07 Avatar
50 months ago
If I am honest, right now I don't want to be driven by a car controlled by Apple's software.
Not sure I want to be driven by any software, right now:
Autonomous Tesla Crashes Into Parked Fire Truck on California Freeway ('http://www.newsweek.com/autonomous-tesla-crashes-parked-fire-truck-california-freeway-789177')
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JRobinsonJr Avatar
50 months ago
Apple executives need to stop spending money on this. Take the massive amount of money in the bank account and either pay the retail employees more money or give it to the stockholder as dividend checks. The owners deserve the money.
What a great idea. Here's an alternative suggestion:

Take a small portion of the $$Billions and update your freakin computers! The whole world seems to be able to update systems on an annual or even bi-annual basis. How come the highest capitalized technology company in the world can't seem to make that happen? If you don't know how, just hire Michael Dell!
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rpat701 Avatar
50 months ago
This could be Apple's next game changer. I'm bored of slightly thinner iPhones, time for something innovative.
I would never trust software to drive me and my family in my car.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airtag in hand

Apple AirTag Linked to Increasing Number of Car Thefts, Canadian Police Report

Friday December 3, 2021 7:10 am PST by
Apple's AirTags are being used in an increasing number of targeted car thefts in Canada, according to local police. Outlined in a news release from York Regional Police, investigators have identified a new method being used by thieves to track down and steal high-end vehicles that takes advantage of the AirTag's location tracking capabilities. While the method of stealing the cars is largely ...
apple top apps games 2020

Apple Reveals the Most Downloaded iOS Apps and Games of 2021

Thursday December 2, 2021 12:05 am PST by
Along with naming its editorial picks for the top apps and games of 2021, Apple today shared charts for the most downloaded free and paid apps and games in the United States across 2021. The number one most downloaded free iPhone app was TikTok, followed by YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. The top paid iPhone apps included Procreate Pocket, HotSchedules, The Wonder Weeks, and Touch...
m3 feature black

Macs With 'M3' Chips Expected to Use TSMC's 3nm Chip Technology With Test Production Reportedly Underway

Thursday December 2, 2021 7:36 am PST by
Apple's chipmaking partner TSMC has kicked off pilot production of chips built on its 3nm process, known as N3, according to Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report, citing unnamed industry sources, claims that TSMC will move the process to volume production by the fourth quarter of 2022 and start shipping 3nm chips to customers like Apple and Intel in the first quarter of...
telsa cyberwhistle

Elon Musk Urges Customers to Buy 'Tesla Cyberwhistle' Instead of Apple Polishing Cloth

Wednesday December 1, 2021 4:01 am PST by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has encouraged customers to buy the "Cyberwhistle" for $50 instead of Apple's much-discussed Polishing Cloth. The product page, which Musk shared on Twitter on Tuesday evening, offers a limited edition stainless steel whistle with the same distinctive design of the Tesla Cybertruck:Inspired by Cybertruck, the limited-edition Cyberwhistle is a premium collectible made from ...
app store awards 2021

Apple Picks the 2021 App Store Award Winners, Highlighting the Best Apps of the Year

Thursday December 2, 2021 12:01 am PST by
Apple today shared its 2021 App Store Award winners, highlighting the 15 best apps and games selected by Apple's global App Store editorial team. The top apps were chosen for their quality, innovative technology, creative design, and positive cultural impact. "The developers who won App Store Awards in 2021 harnessed their own drive and vision to deliver the best apps and games of the year --...
MBA Mock White Front Blue

2022 MacBook Air Getting Major Display Upgrade With One Drawback

Friday December 3, 2021 3:01 am PST by
Apple's next-generation MacBook Air is reportedly set to bring over many of the new MacBook Pro's features, with one noticeable omission, according to recent reports. The latest MacBook Pro models feature a mini-LED "Liquid Retina XDR" display with deep blacks and support for up to 1,600 nits peak brightness. The display also features Apple's "ProMotion" technology, which is capable of...