Apple expands California self-driving car fleet amid 'Apple Car' rumors

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 3
Apple continued to forward development of in-house self-driving car technology over the past two months, with the company adding one new vehicle to its fleet and 16 driver permits for use on California roads.

Self-Driving Platform


In May, Apple was fielding 68 test vehicles in California, according to data shared with the state's Department of Motor Vehicles. New information shows Apple added one car to that list as of July 30, equaling the number of vehicles the company had on the road in August 2019.

Apple also boosted the number of self-driving car pilots to 92, up from 76 drivers in May. As macReports notes, the addition of more pilots comes after Apple nearly halved the number of licensed drivers in its program earlier this year.

The Cupertino tech giant has the third-largest fleet of autonomous test cars in California behind Waymo and GM Cruise, which stand at 615 and 201 cars, respectively. While GM Cruise held steady over the past two months, Waymo added 250 vehicles to its roster. Both increased driver numbers, with Waymo tacking on 373 drivers and GM Cruise adding 102.

Apple reported three collisions during the period compared to GM Cruise's 153 and Waymo's 111 accidents. Driving hours and disengagements, or events that require a driver to take the reins, were not included in the macReports rundown. Apple has yet to test a driverless platform on public roads.

Apple's efforts in the self-driving car market have been widely reported, but the company's motivation in the space remains unknown.

Whispers of the initiative, dubbed "Project Titan," began to circulate in 2014, with rumors pointing to a plan that would result in a branded "Apple Car." At one point, the Project Titan team had over 1,000 employees working on various projects, but work was put on hold in late 2016 after development roadblocks led to disagreements in Apple's upper ranks.

Longtime executive Bob Mansfield reportedly took over and refocused energies toward self-driving software and supporting hardware. The project was reportedly handed to AI and Siri chief John Giannandrea last December.

Apple was reportedly negotiating manufacturing deals with Hyundai and Kia in January, but those discussions fell through. The company was most recently said to be courting other automakers for a potential deal.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    byronlbyronl Posts: 153member
    i really hate the fact that they’re using the hd human-annotated map approach, good luck scaling that
  • Reply 2 of 5
    Apple runs a TTM(trailing twelve months) PE(price to earnings) multiple of about 29. In and around 30, in this particular moment in time, is about where a company that predicts double digit growth, has diversified revenue streams, and has an impressive cash flow.
    For those that don't understand PE, it is the EPS (earnings per share -- that is net earnings divided by number of shares) divided by the price of the current stock price. Apple currently has a 5.20 EPS and it's stock price is 147. Divide the EPS with share price and that is your PE (EPS 5.15 C PE of 29 = currently stock price of near 147).

    EV companies have PEs that are much bigger. Much bigger PE usually indicates expected growth well above simple low double digits. For example Tesla has a PE of 360. Many EVs don't even make money to have a positive PE.
    For anyone who has any cash that can stay in the market, consider this advice I'm giving (not telling anyone it will happen, just advice). An Apple PE of even 40 would mean a stock price of about 210. This is on top of Apple pulling 3 to 4 percent off shares off the market (increasing EPS) and provides about 1/3 of a dollar each year for every share you own (dividend). Consider your future and invest in companies like Apple (or Microsoft or others that are big free cash flow earners with good growth expectations). 
  • Reply 3 of 5
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,609member
    Apple doesn't need to be first to market for EVs. They weren't for MP3 music players, they weren't for smartphones.

    Assessing Apple's EV strategy based on what their PE ratio is bonkers.

    Makes zero sense.

    Apple's isn't going to release an EV (autonomous or not) anytime soon. They simply don't have many hours of testing.

    There are probably 30+ companies in my area testing autonomous vehicles (some are obvious like Waymo or Toyota Research Institute) and some are clandestine.

    Apple will need to scale up public road testing massively if they are planning on a near future auto launch.

    Alphabet -- who has a history of releasing things half-baked -- hasn't shipped a car even if they have one of the longest running prototype programs.
    edited August 3 byronl
  • Reply 4 of 5
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,012member
    Apple is really good about keeping the secrets of Project Titan or whatever code name it goes by these days.  Because we’ve heard so little about what they’re doing internally.  Heck, no one can even figure out what their end goal is. Are they even planning on a physical product? Their talks with some auto manufacturers implies yes.  Then one wonders what’s Apple’s value in the equation.  It better be a whole lot more than glorified iPhone integration.  Yep, really good with secrets.

    Meanwhile, the rest of us will be buying Teslas cause we’re tired of waiting.  Seven years and counting.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    JWSC said:
    Apple is really good about keeping the secrets of Project Titan or whatever code name it goes by these days.  Because we’ve heard so little about what they’re doing internally.  Heck, no one can even figure out what their end goal is. Are they even planning on a physical product? Their talks with some auto manufacturers implies yes.  Then one wonders what’s Apple’s value in the equation.  It better be a whole lot more than glorified iPhone integration.  Yep, really good with secrets.

    Meanwhile, the rest of us will be buying Teslas cause we’re tired of waiting.  Seven years and counting.
    I’m constantly stunned by some folks’ belief that there was no Apple customer before them and none will come after. 

    And I’d also be stunned if Apple are actually planning to sell you a car. 
    FileMakerFeller
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