Apple to begin testing self-driving vehicle tech in California

Apple to begin testing self-driving vehicle tech in Californiaā€¯

Apple has received California DMV permit for testing self-driving vehicles in California.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles on Friday granted Apple a test permit that the agency said would allow the company to test autonomous driving technology in three 2015 Lexus RX 450h luxury hybrid SUVs. Now out of nowhere there is proof that Apple is working on self-driving cars. A quarter of all miles driven in the US may be traveled in shared, self-driving electric cars by the end of the next decade, Boston Consulting Group said this month.

The secretive company that it is, little is known about the autonomous skills of Apple's software, but in a letter a year ago to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Apple said it was "investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation".

Aside from the new permit, Apple has provided little insight into its vehicle-related efforts.

Apple said in a November letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission that it is "investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation".

Per California DMV's policy, companies are required to file disengagement reports which disclose general facts about their driverless vehicle programs, including miles travelled.

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Till then, Apple will probably be busy taking its autonomous cars to the streets. Apple has never officially confirmed whether or not they are working on their own self-driving vehicles. It is worth to note that Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Tesla Inc. have already tested their similar self-drive cars in California.

Apple executives have been coy about their interest in cars.

The DMV's website was updated Friday to acknowledge Apple becoming a permit holder.

With $246 billion in cash, Apple also could easily afford to buy technology that accelerates its development of self-driving cars.

The self-driving auto segment is among the most bitterly contested areas in emerging technology, with Apple joining 29 other companies that have received test permits in California alone. Apple has remained secretive about its self-driving project.

According to Apple spokesperson, test drive should improve artificial intelligence systems that must learn the ways to interact with an unpredictability of human drivers.

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