On Friday, Apple Inc. has got the permit to test the self-driving vehicles in California. For the first-time Apple has been awarded the permit by California’s Department of Motor Vehicles and allowed it to test its autonomous cars on the public roads of California, the most populated state in the US. After Google and Tesla, it would be the third largest company to get the permit for testing the autonomous cars. Apple is allowed to conduct the test drive in three 2015 Lexus sport-utility vehicles with six human operators that would sit behind the wheel to monitor the driving, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
Given the permit that doesn’t mean Apple is building its own self-driving car. It is actually the software or hardware that will be associated with the autonomous technology. It is investing much of its finance in machine learning and automation study. It has been working on this project of self-driving cars for many years. Many other companies are trying to compete with Silicon Valley claiming that they will have self-driving vehicles on the road in the next few years.
Companies like General Motors Co. is spending $150 million per quarter on the development whereas Ford Motor Co. is targeting to bring the self-driving vehicle for the market in 2021 by investing around $1 billion into Argo AI. Chief Executive of Apple, Tim Cook says they have to do something extraordinary apart from incorporating the Apple smartphones into vehicle infotainment systems.
California has become a famous platform for testing the autonomous vehicle technology. Waymo LLC, Google’s sister company and one of the biggest rival of Apple has been testing the vehicles in California for some time. It has been working on autonomous vehicles from 2009 and has covered 2.5 million miles of public roads, 635,868 miles alone in California, according to the report.