Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Apple's California Self-Driving Car Test Fleet Continues to Grow

Apple's California Self-Driving Car Test Fleet Continues to Grow

Didi a year ago opened its main research facility in Mountain View of California, 860 kilometres north of Los Angeles, to focus on developing artificial intelligence, including autonomous driving. Since obtaining a permit to test autonomous vehicles, Apple's fleet size has steadily risen - from a scant three test cars, to 27 in January, and now, 55 intelligent machines. Citing information from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the website reported that Apple has 55 test cars in California. Waymo, for instance, has hundreds of autonomous vehicles being tested in Arizona. Leading the pack is GM with 104 vehicles, while Waymo is in third place with 51 cars.

This indicates a margin of error that's worth considering before rushing into fully self-driving trials; before the public can accept autonomous cars as a reliable alternative, companies need to gain its trust.

But now, the Cupertino tech giant is reaping the fruits of its ramped-up investment in the new technology, beating out Tesla and Waymo for the second-most self-driving auto permits with the DMV, according to a report from the Apple-focused tech blog Mac Reports. By March of this year, the company had 45 cars on the road.

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With a new permit and expanded fleet, things are finally starting to look up for Apple after years of hardship.

Code-named "Project Titan", Apple's self-driving programme's fleet is reportedly made up of Lexus RX450h SUVs, each of which is fitted with huge racks of LIDAR and radar sensors as well as cameras. "It's probably one of the most hard AI projects actually to work on", Cook said last summer.

As of now, the DMV has not issued any permits for complete driverless testing because for that to happen, companies must have to have a pre-testing of the vehicles in controlled conditions.

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