Apple grows self-driving test fleet to 55 vehicles as project remains in shadows

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Apple now has 55 autonomous test vehicles and 83 authorized drivers, California's Department of Motor Vehicles has confirmed, indicating that work on the company's mysterious car platform is accelerating.

An Apple test vehicle


In California at least the new number puts Apple ahead of Drive.Ai, Tesla, and even Alphabet's Waymo, which is rapidly advancing towards a commercial ridehailing service. The leader in the state according to macReports is GM Cruise, with 104 vehicles.

Apple's reported fleet size earlier this year was 45. The company has yet to apply for a permit to test without backup drivers, but those only became available in California last month.

Businesses around the world are racing to be among the first with fully self-driving vehicles. The technology is considered the future of the auto and ridehailing industries, and lucrative for any company that can establish itself as a frontrunner.

Apple's own goals are still unclear. While it was at one point thought be designing a full-fledged electric car, its work has allegedly narrowed to creating a platform, possibly with ridehailing in mind. Unless the company engages in a major investments though it will probably have to partner with one or more outside firms, since it lacks the expertise and infrastructure to run its own Waymo-style ridehailing.

Building a self-designed vehicle would be even more complex, since it would need to partner with manufacturers, supply parts for decades, and ensure easy access to repairs. Unless it made an announcement well in advance it would also be difficult to keep the product a surprise.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    nunzynunzy Posts: 663member
    Apple is beating Google on this. Tesla too.
  • Reply 2 of 36
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,041member
    nunzy said:
    Apple is beating Google on this. Tesla too.
    Apple has yet to even apply for a full driverless permit in California AFAIK while others have already moved on to other states and regions including winter snow testing, and operating fully driverless vehicles. At this point they are not "beating" the companies who already have driverless vehicles on the road and preparing for commercial use this year.  But that does not mean Apple is necessarily behind either. It's still early. 
    edited May 14 aylk
  • Reply 3 of 36
    nunzy said:
    Apple is beating Google on this. Tesla too.
    Not necessary.  Tesla might already been collecting data from existing Tesla customers, and Google might be feeding Waymo with data from Waze and Android users.
    aylk
  • Reply 4 of 36
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,187member
    gatorguy said:
    nunzy said:
    Apple is beating Google on this. Tesla too.
    Apple has yet to even apply for a full driverless permit in California AFAIK while others have already moved on to other states and regions including winter snow testing, and operating fully driverless vehicles. At this point they are not "beating" the companies who already have driverless vehicles on the road and preparing for commercial use this year.  But that does not mean Apple is necessarily behind either. It's still early. 
    He's trolling (poorly). He's been making simple, ridiculously pro-Apple comments on nearly every thread for awhile now.
    edited May 14 gatorguypatchythepirateaylklolliver
  • Reply 5 of 36
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,515member
    gatorguy said:
    nunzy said:
    Apple is beating Google on this. Tesla too.
    Apple has yet to even apply for a full driverless permit in California AFAIK while others have already moved on to other states and regions including winter snow testing, and operating fully driverless vehicles. At this point they are not "beating" the companies who already have driverless vehicles on the road and preparing for commercial use this year.  But that does not mean Apple is necessarily behind either. It's still early. 
    Do you Google guys know if Warren Buffet was read in on the real story?


  • Reply 6 of 36
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,041member
    MacPro said:
    gatorguy said:
    nunzy said:
    Apple is beating Google on this. Tesla too.
    Apple has yet to even apply for a full driverless permit in California AFAIK while others have already moved on to other states and regions including winter snow testing, and operating fully driverless vehicles. At this point they are not "beating" the companies who already have driverless vehicles on the road and preparing for commercial use this year.  But that does not mean Apple is necessarily behind either. It's still early. 
    Do you Google guys know if Warren Buffet was read in on the real story?


    "You Google guys".... LOL
    What I posted was in the AI story for the most part. Mr Buffet wouldn't care IMHO. Said he was wrong and regrets not buying Google as well. Regrets not buying Amazon too.
    Regrets? He has a few... :) 

    edited May 14
  • Reply 7 of 36
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,735member
    nunzy said:
    Apple is beating Google on this. Tesla too.
    Not necessary.  Tesla might already been collecting data from existing Tesla customers, and Google might be feeding Waymo with data from Waze and Android users.
    apple bought a stake in the Chinese Uber, and could have been collecting crapload of data there, who knows really.
    bb-15bshank
  • Reply 8 of 36
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,030member
    Nobody is "winning" this segment yet. Still super early. Obviously Apple won't be "out there" as much as the others with their progress, plans, and hype. They'll keep working in the background until they have something real and tangible to announce that would impact a large amount of people in a meaningful way. 
    edited May 14 SolibshankmwhitebaconstangtmayStrangeDayslolliver
  • Reply 9 of 36
    gatorguy said:
    nunzy said:
    Apple is beating Google on this. Tesla too.
    Apple has yet to even apply for a full driverless permit in California AFAIK while others have already moved on to other states and regions including winter snow testing, and operating fully driverless vehicles. At this point they are not "beating" the companies who already have driverless vehicles on the road and preparing for commercial use this year.  But that does not mean Apple is necessarily behind either. It's still early. 
    So far no accidents and no fatalities. I'd call that "beating" the others. 
  • Reply 10 of 36
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,538member
    Apple may not be the First but they will likely be the Best!
    nunzy
  • Reply 11 of 36
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,607member
    The company has yet to apply for a permit to test without backup drivers, but those only became available in California last month.
    Boy, am I glad I don't live there anymore. Maybe just hide in your homes and offices.
    Of course, even WITH backup drivers, once they stop paying attention, you get what happened in Arizona (though the media and police will help cover it up).

    What a friggin' $$$ grab with little regard for human safety.

    Apple may not be the First but they will likely be the Best!
    From the company that brought you Siri.... 
    pembroke
  • Reply 12 of 36
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,607member
    Wow that is a huge pantload of sensors right there. It will be very interesting to see Apple's take on autonomous vehicle systems.  I'm sure it will have features and aspects that the other companies don't.
    edited May 15
  • Reply 13 of 36
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 495member
    Undoubtedly, Apple will have the thinnest cars...
    bonobobpembrokeking editor the grateaylkwelshdogtokyojimu
  • Reply 14 of 36
    Undoubtedly, Apple will have the thinnest cars...
    Well, cars (like most people) have been getting fatter in recent years haven't they?

    baconstang
  • Reply 15 of 36
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 495member
    Undoubtedly, Apple will have the thinnest cars...
    Well, cars (like most people) have been getting fatter in recent years haven't they?

    True.  I imagine Apple will make a car that you will have to be installed into, and that takes "courage".
  • Reply 16 of 36
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,760member
    Undoubtedly, Apple will have the thinnest cars...
    Well, cars (like most people) have been getting fatter in recent years haven't they?

    The Apple Car will be milled from a single block of aluminium.
    franklinjackconking editor the grate
  • Reply 17 of 36
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,041member
    gatorguy said:
    nunzy said:
    Apple is beating Google on this. Tesla too.
    Apple has yet to even apply for a full driverless permit in California AFAIK while others have already moved on to other states and regions including winter snow testing, and operating fully driverless vehicles. At this point they are not "beating" the companies who already have driverless vehicles on the road and preparing for commercial use this year.  But that does not mean Apple is necessarily behind either. It's still early. 
    So far no accidents and no fatalities. I'd call that "beating" the others. 
    Only way to win is don't play.
    :)
    cgWerks
  • Reply 18 of 36
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,873member
    I keep thinking that Apple's potential advantage in this market is their integration of hardware and software. Rather than buying GPUs from Nvidia and running a simulation of a neural network, Apple might end up designing their own custom silicon that implements the neural network in hardware and is very tightly integrated with the software -- so tightly integrated that it's hard to tell where hardware ends and software begins (kind of like a human brain). 
  • Reply 19 of 36
    cgWerks said:
    The company has yet to apply for a permit to test without backup drivers, but those only became available in California last month.
    Boy, am I glad I don't live there anymore. Maybe just hide in your homes and offices.
    Of course, even WITH backup drivers, once they stop paying attention, you get what happened in Arizona (though the media and police will help cover it up).

    What a friggin' $$$ grab with little regard for human safety.

    Apple may not be the First but they will likely be the Best!
    From the company that brought you Siri.... 
    37,000 deaths on the roads in the US per year. Which state do you live in where you don't need to hide in your home or office?
    StrangeDaysaylkfastasleeplollivertokyojimu
  • Reply 20 of 36
    asciiascii Posts: 5,816member
    Autonomous vehicles are not necessarily about carrying people. It could be simply be to deliver their products. It would improve the ordering experience for Apple customers if they ordered an iPad online and 1 hour later the little white Apple car pulled up in their driveway.
    lolliver
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