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Apple testing autonomous cars openly in California: Report

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Apple is rumored of developing a fully autonomous car but it can’t make it to the public. Now, there’s a new report that suggests that Apple is already testing its autonomous cars in California.

The Washington Post revealed Apple has been test driving the SUV size cars with large sensor hardware on the roof. The company was conducting tests in batches and there were 67 vehicles spotted in protective covers but with autonomous driving setup.

Public record shows that Apple is continuously increasing the test fleet and the miles on California’s roads. Between December 2022 and November 2023, Apple tested over 450,000 miles of autonomous driving in California, which is 3 times more than a year earlier.

Further information confirms that Apple is moving slowly in autonomous driving technologies compared to other market leaders such as Waymo and Cruise. The Cupertino-based tech firm only has a permit to test vehicles in California.

Bloomberg previously reported that Apple is pushing its self-driving car project for years to come. Instead, the firm is focusing on developing an electric car with general ADAS features similar to the Tesla.

The statement Department of Motor Vehicle Data shows that Apple has been testing its autonomous driving vehicles with onboard drivers to take control in uncertain scenarios.

There are a total of 38 companies that have received permits to test cars in California including Waymo, Amazon’s Zoox, General Motors’s Cruise, Apple, Nuro, and more.

Waymo leads the total number of tested miles at 4.8 million in 2023, Cuirse comes second with 2.6 million miles and Zoox accounted for 700,000 miles.

Unlike Cruise, which has been involved in a robotaxi pedestrian accident, Apple has not reported any serious or publically reported incidents.

As for the launch date, Apple might not bring its autonomous car in public anywhere soon.