Apple Grows Self-Driving Car Fleet to 62 Vehicles in California

by

Apple's fleet of self-driving vehicles roaming the streets of California is now at 62 vehicles and 87 drivers, up from 55 vehicles and 83 drivers just two weeks ago. The numbers come from ongoing coverage provided by macReports, citing information obtained from the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Apple has been expanding its autonomous vehicle test since it was granted a permit from the California DMV in April 2017, enabling it to test the advanced technology on public roads in the state. Beginning in early 2018, multiple sources reported on the number of vehicles in Apple's fleet, with 27 autonomous vehicles counted in January and 45 in March.


Each of Apple's cars is equipped with the company's in-development autonomous driving software, along with advanced LIDAR equipment and an array of cameras to detect the vehicle's surroundings. The actual cars are Lexus RX450h sports utility vehicles and must have safety drivers inside of them, since Apple's permit does not include driverless testing.

Apple's growing collection of self-driving vehicles is reportedly gathering data for the company's long-rumored autonomous vehicle software. Apple initially pivoted to self-driving car software when plans for its own electric vehicle fell through.

As Apple continues to grow the fleet, it's still unclear exactly what the company will do with the software when it's finished the testing phase. One likely possibility will be a partnership between Apple and an existing car manufacturer to place the self-driving software inside a vehicle not built by Apple, which could be implemented through a future version of CarPlay.

Rumors that date back to 2016 suggest the software could include augmented reality aspects, like a heads-up display that provides a collection of useful driving details from various apps. Since those rumors, AR has become a huge field of interest for Apple with the launch of the iPhone X and ARKit, so it's easy to see Apple's interest in potentially expanding such technology into driving.

More recently, in June 2017 Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed Apple's work on autonomous software: "We're focusing on autonomous systems. It's a core technology that we view as very important. We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects... it's probably one of the most difficult AI projects to actually work on."

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
29 months ago

Let’s use all these technologies to make EXISTING cars safer and eventually only after it proves that it can drive itself safely, then make self driving cars. In the mean time slow down.

My Tesla drove me to Toronto from Boston this weekend. One area where it definitely is far better at handling than me is construction zones - I came to an area where I couldn’t make heads or tails of what lines were supposed to be followed vs which had been “erased” but the car knew exactly which lanes to follow.

It handled ~97% of the 1250 mile drive. It steadily ticks upwards with free monthly over the air software updates. I look forward to the day that it’s better than me at every task and I no longer need to give it any input beyond what the destination is.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago
Let’s use all these technologies to make EXISTING cars safer and eventually only after it proves that it can drive itself safely, then make self driving cars. In the mean time slow down.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

Apple Explains Why You Might See 'Not Charging' When a Mac is Plugged In

Monday August 3, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
If you have a Mac and have seen a "Not Charging" warning when plugging it in to power, Apple last week released a support document that explains why. Macs running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a Battery Health Management feature to preserve the life of the battery, and occasionally, the Battery Health Management option will cause the Mac to pause its charging for calibration purposes.Depending ...

Top Stories: Try the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Display Size, Blockbuster Earnings, Tim Cook at Antitrust Hearing

Saturday August 1, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Another busy week of Apple news and rumors has wrapped up, with a lot of focus on Tim Cook's appearance at a Congressional antitrust hearing and a blockbuster earnings report. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We continued to hear rumors about the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, including a rare admission from Apple that the lineup will launch "a few weeks later" than...

Unreleased iPod Touch with Mac Pro Glossy Black Finish Shared Online

Sunday August 2, 2020 11:32 am PDT by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today posted images of what seems to be a first-generation iPod Touch prototype with a 2013 Mac Pro-style glossy black finish. The Twitter user claims that the iPod Touch prototype pictured has "the same coating as the 2013 Mac Pro." Had the finish been selected for the final product, it also would have been similar to the metallic glossy black finish that...

Just How Small Will the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Screen Be? Try It Out for Yourself

Tuesday July 28, 2020 12:57 pm PDT by
As rumors of the iPhone 12 have continued to build over the past few months, the one model that has the most excitement around it is the smallest 5.4" model. The iPhone 12 is believed to be coming in 5.4", 6.7", and 6.1" sizes. Dummy models have shown how much smaller the 5.4" is compared to the rest of the iPhone lineup. The upcoming 5.4" iPhone falls in-between the size of the original...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Microsoft to Stop Supporting Office 2016 for Mac in October

Monday August 3, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Microsoft's Office 2016 for Mac is set to reach its end of support date on October 13, 2020, and after that date, connecting to Office 365 services using the Office 2016 for Mac software will no longer be supported. Microsoft shared the detail in a support document from July highlighting which versions of Office will be supported for connecting to Office 365 services in the future.Connecting ...

Apple Shares Requirements for Default Third-Party Browser and Email Apps With Developers

Monday August 3, 2020 4:28 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 plans to allow users to set a third-party app as the default email or browser app on an iPhone or iPad, replacing the current Apple-made default apps Safari and Mail. Apple hasn't provided many details on the new feature to users, but as noted by MacStories' Federico Vittici, Apple has shared documentation with developers who want their apps to have the option to be set as a...