Apple's self-driving car program has been one of the industry's worst secrets for years. Between the strange, chunky form that ended up on the cover of Motor Trend and the sensor-equipped test cars that were spotted all over California, the secret is revealed, but what exactly does Apple do and why does it make it so slow?
Thanks to the California DMV (and MacReports), we know that Apple currently has a fleet of 55 vehicles,in January, registered for autonomous testing with drivers on public roads. We also know that the company has 83 drivers who are certified to serve as safety drivers for these cars. Interestingly, Apple has not applied for one of California's new completely driverless autonomous test approvals.
So, we know that Apple has cars and security drivers, what we do not know exactly is what exactly it did to them. You see, California requires all companies that perform autonomous vehicle testing within their borders to have a so-called "vehicle decoupling report" that outlines both the number of human driver interventions, vehicle control and circumstances interventions, aka omissions , Apple did not receive a test approval until April 201
The current belief is that the license, instead of offering the public an "Apple car", is licensed – drive car technology to other manufacturers, something that is intellectual for Apple, a company that is known for Keeping property close and controlling its image closely looks a little different.
What exactly are Tim Cook and Jony Ive? Are you testing Apple's self-driving cars in a secret volcanic camp off the Northern California coast and gliding off in electrical silence, interrupted only by insane laughter and occasional geological rumble? Who can say that?
Apple could not be reached immediately for a comment on this story.