By: Nick Gambino
Apple is known for having a finger in every pie so it’s no secret or surprise that they’ve been full steam ahead on their own autonomous vehicle program. What may be surprising to some is how many cars they have on the road. In California, they have 70 cars and 139 drivers licensed to test them.
The info was gathered from reports by the California DMV by the site Mac Reports. The Cupertino-based company has really put their foot on the gas in just the last few months. They were approved to start testing their self-driving cars in 2017. Since then, they’ve quickly added more and more vehicles and drivers to their fleet of world-devouring robots…sorry, autonomous cars.
When they started they only had 3 but by the start of 2018, they had 27. That means they’ve added 43 more since the beginning of the year. Even though their program is fairly new, they are already in the #3 spot for number of vehicles being tested with the new technology. Waymo (Google) is #2 with 88 cars and GM Cruise is #1 with an impressive 175 cars.
Even though they’ve been putting the pedal to the metal, it’s of note that they still don’t have a driverless car permit. That means they are allowed to test the vehicles on the road, but they must have a driver at the wheel at all times. So it’s safe to say they’re still pretty early on in the development process, or they’re running into some red tape they’re having trouble cutting through.
And despite all of this, Apple still hasn’t said boo about the program. In fact, all the info we have on the project is strictly from DMV records. Apple doesn’t talk about it which means they’re probably pretty far off from officially throwing their hat in the auto ring. They are, after all, makers of phones, tablets and computers, not vehicles meant to transport people and things over great distances, driverless or otherwise.
Now if they can just figure out how to teleport people through the air like a WiFi signal, then Apple would really be in their wheelhouse.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.