Apple’s super-secretive autonomous driving project, code named Project Titan, has just taken a half-step into the public eye now that the company has secured a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California.
According to the Californian DMV, Apple has three vehicles registered under its autonomous driving permit, all of which are 2015 Lexus RX crossovers — similar to Google’s early use of Lexus SUVs kitted out with cameras and sensors. Apple also has six drivers permitted to operate its new autonomous driving vehicles.
A source from within the company told Bloomberg that testing would begin “soon,” without providing any additional details. Apple itself declined to comment about the permit, instead referring The Verge to a letter it sent to the U.S. federal government in December 2016 which stated that Apple is “investing heavily in machine learning and autonomous systems. There are many potential applications for these technologies, including the future of transportation, so we want to work with NHTSA [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration] to help define the best practices for the industry.”
More information about the company’s testing will come with its first report to the California DMV, which requires companies like Uber’s Otto and Google’s Waymo to report their disengagement rates.
Recent reports indicate Apple may not be building its own autonomous car, but is rather focusing on developing self-driving software to be implemented in partnership with existing automakers.
Source: The Verge