It’s no secret Apple has been exploring a self-driving vehicle, but now the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has confirmed it’s getting real. An update to the DMV website now lists Apple as a company which has been issued an Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permit (via Business Insider):
Apple declined to comment on the matter to BI, but referred to a previous statement they are “investing heavily in machine learning and autonomous systems.”
The company’s so-called ‘Project Titan’ was described in 2015 as having “several hundreds” of employees working on a self-driving electric car. But last year, it was reported Apple had scaled back the project, with management reportedly changing the focus to autonomous driving software instead of a standalone vehicle.
At least year’s annual shareholder meeting, CEO Tim Cook responded when probed about they company’s rumoured electric vehicle ambitions, saying “Do you remember when you were a kid, and Christmas Eve, it was so exciting, you weren’t sure what was going to be downstairs? Well, it’s going to be Christmas Eve for a while.”
The biggest player in the autonomous driving space is Tesla right now, and I can’t see anyone catching up to them. CEO Elon Musk announced yesterday a new semi truck is coming, while also confirmed the final reveal for the Model 3 is slated for July. Should Apple just buy Tesla already?