Apple Leasing Cars from Hertz for Self-Driving Car Fleet Testing [u]

According to Bloomberg, Apple is working with Hertz to lease a fleet of Lexus RX450h SUVs from the rental car company’s Donlen fleet management unit, for its self-driving car testing:

The iPhone maker is leasing Lexus RX450h sport-utility vehicles from Hertz’s Donlen fleet-management unit, according to documents released recently by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. When Apple received its license to test three autonomous vehicles from the state’s DMV in April, the documents listed Donlen as the lessor and Apple as the lessee.

Back in April, Bloomberg reported Lexus RX450h vehicles seen on the streets of San Francisco, California belonged to Apple, part of their autonomous car driving project involving half a dozen vehicles.

News of the deal saw Hertz stock price surge, jumping as high as 18 per cent today, its biggest intraday gains since July 2015.

Back in April, Apple was issued an Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permit by the California DMV. Last fall, Bloomberg claimed Apple was scaling down its ‘Project Titan’ automotive project, but so far it appears plans are still underway for some sort of autonomous vehicle platform. Can you say carOS is coming soon?

Update June 27: Apple confirmed to CNBC there is no partnership with Hertz–it’s just six leased cars.

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