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."

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Top Rated Comments

ArtOfWarfare Avatar
57 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
57 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

USB C Over Lightning Feature

EU Passes Law to Switch iPhone to USB-C by End of 2024

Tuesday October 4, 2022 3:30 am PDT by
The European Parliament today voted overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing USB-C as a common charging port across a wide range of consumer electronic devices, including the iPhone and AirPods, by the end of 2024. The proposal, known as a directive, forces all consumer electronics manufacturers who sell their products in Europe to ensure that a wide range of devices feature a USB-C port. This...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

10 New iOS 16 Features Coming Later This Year

Monday October 3, 2022 2:41 pm PDT by
iOS 16 was released to the public three weeks ago with a customizable Lock Screen, the ability to edit iMessages, improvements to Focus modes, and much more. And in the coming months, iPhone and iPad users have even more new features to look forward to. We've rounded up 10 new features coming to the iPhone and iPad later this year, according to Apple. Many of the features are part of iOS...
magsafe charger orange

Apple Releases New MagSafe Charger Firmware

Tuesday October 4, 2022 12:09 pm PDT by
Apple today released updated firmware for the MagSafe Charger that is designed to work with the iPhone 12 and later and the AirPods Pro 2. The new firmware is version 10M1821, up from the prior 10M229 firmware. Note that in the Settings app, you'll see a different version number than the firmware number, with the update displayed as version 255.0.0.0 (the prior firmware was 247.0.0.0). The...
maxresdefault

Video: AirPods Pro 2 vs. Bose QuietComfort II

Monday October 3, 2022 12:50 pm PDT by
Apple on September 23 officially launched the second-generation version of the AirPods Pro, introducing updated Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive Transparency, improved sound, and more. Right around the same time, Bose introduced new QuietComfort II earbuds with many similar features, so we thought we'd compare the two to see which has the edge. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for ...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.0.3 With More Bug Fixes Following iPhone 14 Launch

Monday October 3, 2022 7:53 am PDT by
iOS 16.0.2 was released last month with several bug fixes for iPhone 14 issues, excessive copy and paste permission prompts, and more. Now, evidence suggests that Apple is planning to release iOS 16.0.3 with additional bug fixes. Evidence of an upcoming iOS 16.0.3 software update has shown up in MacRumors analytics logs, which have been a reliable indicator in the past. There are several...
ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...
General YouTube Feature 1

You May Soon Need to Be a YouTube Premium Subscriber to Watch 4K Videos

Monday October 3, 2022 4:29 am PDT by
YouTube may make watching videos in 4K quality on the platform exclusive to only YouTube Premium subscribers, according to screenshots posted by users on Twitter and Reddit. On Reddit (1,2) and Twitter, some users have started to recently notice that on iOS, and presumably across other platforms also, YouTube is now saying that in order to watch videos in 4K, the user must be a paying...
Apple SIM Card

Apple SIM No Longer Available for Activating New Cellular Data Plans on iPads

Sunday October 2, 2022 8:04 am PDT by
As of October 1, Apple SIM is no longer available for activating new cellular data plans on supported iPad models, according to an Apple support document. Introduced in 2014, the Apple SIM was designed to allow iPad users to activate cellular data plans from multiple carriers around the world. Initially, the Apple SIM was a physical nano-SIM card, but it was embedded inside later iPad Pro...