What is known about Apple’s discreet self-driving car plan

What is known about Apple’s discreet self-driving car plan

Company reinforces presence in a sector where companies lost licenses and carried out recalls

A discreet movement is beginning to attract the attention of the North American automobile market: Apple is eyeing autonomous cars .

According to information from the Washington Post , the Cupertino company has 67 vehicles equipped with autonomous features that it can test in California. This number has more than tripled in the last year.

Public records show that Apple cars were tested over 450,000 miles in California between December 2022 and November 2023 — more than tripling from the previous year and the biggest jump among companies testing in the state.

Here it is worth highlighting two aspects: firstly, Apple is investing heavily in a sector in which other companies have lost licenses, carried out recalls, suffered lawsuits and experienced public frustration.
The second point is a change in the behavior of the company that launched the iPhone. Until now, Apple has always maintained tight control over the launch of its products. Now, it’s testing self-driving cars in front of everyone’s eyes.

Also according to the Washington Post , public records show that Apple, despite the numbers, is moving slower compared to other leaders in the sector. The company has been working on autonomous vehicles for years, but is only allowed to test in California with a human driver. The current leader in the sector, Waymo , owned by Alphabet – which owns Google – has been offering driverless robotaxi rides to customers in San Francisco for months.

According to Bloomberg News , Apple has also pushed back the debut date for its automotive technology and is no longer trying to create a fully autonomous vehicle. Instead, it works on creating driving assistance features like those popularized by Tesla. These features, however, have been linked to dozens of serious and fatal accidents and have also been the subject of lawsuits and recalls.

Last year, self-driving car companies tested nearly 15,000 kilometers on California roads. Nearly two-thirds of the miles driven — including Apple’s — were with so-called safety drivers, who were ready to take control whenever the technology made a mistake or needed assistance.


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