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.

applelexsusselfdriving5
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

ArtOfWarfare Avatar
80 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)
mrr Avatar
80 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)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

10 Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Monday July 8, 2024 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models simultaneously, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different – already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPhone 15 Pro Cameras

iPhone 17 Pro Max Will Be First Model to Feature Three 48MP Cameras

Thursday July 11, 2024 12:20 am PDT by
Next year's iPhone 17 Pro Max will feature an upgraded 48-megapixel Tetraprism camera for enhanced photo quality and zoom functionality, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his n-iphone-tetraprism-upgrade-ca62dd37e364">latest investor note published to Medium, Kuo said the key specification change would be a 1/2.6" 48MP CIS sensor, up from the 1/3.1" 12MP sensor expected to be used...
iOS 18 on iPhone Feature

Everything New in iOS 18 Beta 3

Monday July 8, 2024 12:54 pm PDT by
With the third betas of iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 that Apple released today, there are additional tweaks to a number of features like Dark Mode icons, the Photos app, emoji in Messages, and more, with Apple appearing to be preparing for the launch of Apple Intelligence. Apple will continue updating iOS 18‌ over the course of the next couple of months, refining the beta prior to its launch....
iPhone 17 Plus Feature

iPhone 17 'Slim': Everything We Know So Far

Friday July 5, 2024 5:13 am PDT by
In 2025, Apple is expected to discontinue the iPhone "Plus" device in its iPhone 17 lineup to make way for an iPhone "Slim" – although it may not actually be called this when it debuts in the fall of next year. Even though the iPhone 16 series launch is still over two months away, when you consider that we learned about larger displays on the iPhone 16 Pro models way back in May 2023, rumors...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID

iPhone 16 Models Rumored to Have Face ID-Related Design Changes

Tuesday July 9, 2024 9:15 am PDT by
iPhone 16 models coming later this year could have some Face ID-related "design changes," supply chain publication DigiTimes said this week. The original source of this information is British newspaper The Telegraph, which six weeks ago reported that Face ID component supplier Coherent was considering selling or repurposing a manufacturing facility in Newton Aycliffe, a small town in...
AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

Apple Releases New AirPods Pro 2 Beta Firmware With Support for iOS 18 Features

Tuesday July 9, 2024 11:46 am PDT by
Apple today released a second beta firmware for the AirPods Pro 2, including both the Lightning and USB-C versions. The updated firmware has a build number 7A5244b and it is available to developers at the current time. This is the second firmware update that Apple has released since announcing new AirPods Pro 2 features in June. There are several new features that are coming to the AirPods...
iPhone 16 Pro Front Update Blue

iPhone 16 Pro Rumored to Support 40W Fast Charging and 20W MagSafe

Wednesday July 10, 2024 3:57 am PDT by
Apple's forthcoming iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will support 40W wired fast charging and 20W MagSafe charging, claims a rumor currently swirling around China. Right now, iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models are capable of up to 27W peak charging speeds with an appropriate USB-C power adapter, while official MagSafe chargers from Apple and authorized third parties can wirelessly charge...