Apple's self-driving car test fleet up to 45 vehicles navigating California roads

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Apple is rapidly growing the number of self-driving test vehicles it has in its home state, putting it at second place there behind only General Motors' Cruise subsidiary.




While Apple grew from 3 to 27 between April 2017 and January 2018, since then numbers have shot up to 45, the Financial Times said on Tuesday, citing data from California's Department of Motor Vehicles. Cruise has 110 cars.

Behind Apple are Tesla with 39, and Uber with 29. Uber has temporarily suspended testing in the wake of an Arizona fatality.

Alphabet's Waymo -- which is nominally planning to launch a commercial ridehailing service in Arizona later this year -- has scaled back from 100 Californian vehicles in June 2017 to just 24, although its Arizona fleet has grown. It's not clear whether Waymo might postpone plans in the wake of Uber's accident.

Apple's long-term plans are still shrouded. Though the company has had no choice but to acknowledge self-driving tests, it hasn't said what if anything it wants to do with the technology.

The company is expected to produce a platform for ridehailing services, most likely in partnership with third parties. Alternately it could revert to designing its own electric vehicle, but the company would need to contract with outside factories to build it.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,401member
    I’m thinking ride-hailing. 




    cornchip
  • Reply 2 of 23
    h2ph2p Posts: 260member
    Great to hear of the fleet expansion.

    Electric Cars are the future but where will all of the ‘extra’ electricity come from? Nuclear power?
  • Reply 3 of 23
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,584member
    People said Apple was behind, but with the Uber thing and fallout in public consciousness, likely they're not. As usual, they'll be there just on time.
    pscooter63
  • Reply 4 of 23
    focherfocher Posts: 615member
    h2p said:
    Great to hear of the fleet expansion.

    Electric Cars are the future but where will all of the ‘extra’ electricity come from? Nuclear power?
    From all the electricity that is saved by not refining oil into gasoline.
  • Reply 5 of 23
    tipootipoo Posts: 827member
    "but the company would need to contract with outside factories to build it."


    That's not unusual for any of their stuff though. Develop the thing and then work with a manufacturer on mass production. 
    h2p
  • Reply 6 of 23
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,261member


    While Apple grew from 3 to 27 between April 2017 and January 2018, since then numbers have shot up to 45, the Financial Times said on Tuesday, citing data from California's Department of Motor Vehicles. Cruise has 110 cars.

    Behind Apple are Tesla with 39, and Uber with 29. Uber has temporarily suspended testing in the wake of an Arizona fatality.

    Alphabet's Waymo -- which is nominally planning to launch a commercial ridehailing service in Arizona later this year -- has scaled back from 100 Californian vehicles in June 2017 to just 24, although its Arizona fleet has grown. 
    In a recent mention of the Waymo autonomous fleet the Chrysler Pacifica's alone numbered 500. A fairly recent order was reported for an undefined "thousands", and deployed in areas other than California and Arizona. 
    https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/29/waymo-orders-thousands-of-pacificas-for-2018-self-driving-fleet-rollout/
    edited March 20
  • Reply 7 of 23
    h2p said:

    Electric Cars are the future but where will all of the ‘extra’ electricity come from? Nuclear power?
    Nuclear has the best health/safety record among the alternatives.  Its also the most efficient and produces the zero global warming gases.

    Nuclear has been unfairly attacked by uninformed, hysterical critics.  Since 1946 there has only been only nuclear incident in which people died, and that was an essentially unregulated facility in Chernobyl.  France derives more than half its electricity from nuclear since the 1970s without incident.

    Oil and coal economic interests have funded all anti-nuclear initiatives in the US.
    cornchipSpamSandwichtallest skil
  • Reply 8 of 23

    foggyhill said:
    People said Apple was behind, but with the Uber thing and fallout in public consciousness, likely they're not. As usual, they'll be there just on time.
    Driverless vehicles are logging in excess of 20 million miles per year in the United States.  There have been two fatalities.  In the first the driver of the semi-trailer a Tesla struck (killing the driver) was cited for making an illegal left turn in front of the Tesla.  Preliminary police reports indicate that the self driving vehicle involved in the pedestrian fatality was driving below the 40mph speed limit, and that the pedestrian stepped in front of the vehicle, mid-block.  This incident happened at night.

    I hope the same degree of reporting on the cause, as there has been on the incident itself, occurs.  I doubt it will.
  • Reply 9 of 23
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,780member
    h2p said:
    Great to hear of the fleet expansion.

    Electric Cars are the future but where will all of the ‘extra’ electricity come from? Nuclear power?
    Wind and solar. 

    Recharging electric cars could be a great way to balance out the variable nature of renewable sources. One approach could be to structure electricity prices so that car charging gets a discount during peak generation times. 
  • Reply 10 of 23
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,780member

    h2p said:

    Electric Cars are the future but where will all of the ‘extra’ electricity come from? Nuclear power?
    Nuclear has the best health/safety record among the alternatives.  Its also the most efficient and produces the zero global warming gases.

    Nuclear has been unfairly attacked by uninformed, hysterical critics.  Since 1946 there has only been only nuclear incident in which people died, and that was an essentially unregulated facility in Chernobyl.  France derives more than half its electricity from nuclear since the 1970s without incident.

    Oil and coal economic interests have funded all anti-nuclear initiatives in the US.
    How do you figure nuclear has a better health/safety record that wind and solar?
  • Reply 11 of 23
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,584member

    foggyhill said:
    People said Apple was behind, but with the Uber thing and fallout in public consciousness, likely they're not. As usual, they'll be there just on time.
    Driverless vehicles are logging in excess of 20 million miles per year in the United States.  There have been two fatalities.  In the first the driver of the semi-trailer a Tesla struck (killing the driver) was cited for making an illegal left turn in front of the Tesla.  Preliminary police reports indicate that the self driving vehicle involved in the pedestrian fatality was driving below the 40mph speed limit, and that the pedestrian stepped in front of the vehicle, mid-block.  This incident happened at night.

    I hope the same degree of reporting on the cause, as there has been on the incident itself, occurs.  I doubt it will.
    Doesn't matter what facts says, it's the perception that counts and any such things happening will put the brakes on.
  • Reply 12 of 23
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,780member
    I just keep coming back to the idea that Apple will make their own cars but not sell them -- instead, offer transportation as a service that is hailed through an iPhone (or watch, etc). 

    I don't see how anything else makes sense. 
  • Reply 13 of 23
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,584member
    blastdoor said:
    I just keep coming back to the idea that Apple will make their own cars but not sell them -- instead, offer transportation as a service that is hailed through an iPhone (or watch, etc). 

    I don't see how anything else makes sense. 
    Transportation as a service is likely why they put 1B in the chinese Uber, which was a head scratcher otherwise.
  • Reply 14 of 23
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 361member
    blastdoor said:

    h2p said:

    Electric Cars are the future but where will all of the ‘extra’ electricity come from? Nuclear power?
    Nuclear has the best health/safety record among the alternatives.  Its also the most efficient and produces the zero global warming gases.

    Nuclear has been unfairly attacked by uninformed, hysterical critics.  Since 1946 there has only been only nuclear incident in which people died, and that was an essentially unregulated facility in Chernobyl.  France derives more than half its electricity from nuclear since the 1970s without incident.

    Oil and coal economic interests have funded all anti-nuclear initiatives in the US.
    How do you figure nuclear has a better health/safety record that wind and solar?
    Wind and solar provide a mere fraction of all other sources.  Perhaps by alternatives he meant coal and hydropower. 
  • Reply 15 of 23
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,009member
    h2p said:

    Electric Cars are the future..

    Pour some out for steam... 😢
  • Reply 16 of 23
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,780member
    hexclock said:
    blastdoor said:

    h2p said:

    Electric Cars are the future but where will all of the ‘extra’ electricity come from? Nuclear power?
    Nuclear has the best health/safety record among the alternatives.  Its also the most efficient and produces the zero global warming gases.

    Nuclear has been unfairly attacked by uninformed, hysterical critics.  Since 1946 there has only been only nuclear incident in which people died, and that was an essentially unregulated facility in Chernobyl.  France derives more than half its electricity from nuclear since the 1970s without incident.

    Oil and coal economic interests have funded all anti-nuclear initiatives in the US.
    How do you figure nuclear has a better health/safety record that wind and solar?
    Wind and solar provide a mere fraction of all other sources.  Perhaps by alternatives he meant coal and hydropower. 
    https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3

    Renewables are just shy of nuclear. 
    Within renewables, wind is just shy of hydro. 

    I agree that nuclear has a better record than coal. 

    But wind and solar have been growing very fast, and renewables are closing in on nuclear as a share of US electricity production. So I don’t think it makes sense to ignore them. 
  • Reply 17 of 23
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 42,843member
    Night. Snow. Rain. Roads without visible lines. Can these systems manage that yet? The world isn’t southern California, people. We also can’t afford the shit you put on your credit cards.
    blastdoor said:
    Wind and solar.
    So “only useful on days with wind above 20 MPH” and “only useful half the time, maximum, and pray for no clouds” compared to “always useful, always powered, always providing.” Yay. What a future.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 18 of 23
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,261member
    Night. Snow. Rain. Roads without visible lines. Can these systems manage that yet? 

    Waymo spent the winter in Michigan testing to find out the answers to some of that. 
    tallest skil
  • Reply 19 of 23
    Night. Snow. Rain. Roads without visible lines. Can these systems manage that yet? 
    In my neighbourhood I even see roads with contradictory lines. That is, the old lines which were painted over with black paint have slowly become visible again. There are two different sets of yellow lines on the same street now. This would rarely confuse a human. I doubt a computer could say to itself "that yellow line looks like the old one, this one looks like the new one."
    tallest skil
  • Reply 20 of 23
    h2p said:

    Electric Cars are the future but where will all of the ‘extra’ electricity come from? Nuclear power?
    Nuclear has the best health/safety record among the alternatives.  Its also the most efficient and produces the zero global warming gases.

    Nuclear has been unfairly attacked by uninformed, hysterical critics.  Since 1946 there has only been only nuclear incident in which people died, and that was an essentially unregulated facility in Chernobyl.  France derives more than half its electricity from nuclear since the 1970s without incident.

    Oil and coal economic interests have funded all anti-nuclear initiatives in the US.
    Japan's 2011 Fukushima incident, caused in part due to extreme weather conditions, resurfaced a lot of angst about nuclear power. Other accidents (Tokai-mura in 1999, also in Japan) have resulted in deaths from radiation poisoning, although at a far lower rate than say refining oil globally. Those concerns prompted Germany to plan out the winding down of its entire nuclear program (generating 25% of its energy).

    Nuclear power is historically, statistically very safe, but there's a lot of fear involved in what one accident/malicious attack could result in. Its safety record could quickly go from really good to incredibly bad instantly. 
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