Apple now has more than 50 autonomous cars on the road

Posted May 16, 2018

The Cupertino-based tech giant had 45 self-driving cars until late March. Apple is said to employ 83 drivers for its fleet, far less than the 407 of GM or even the 338 Waymo drivers with approved permits. Citing information from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the website reported that Apple has 55 test cars in California.

Like other tech giants, Apple is keen to get into the auto space, with Tim Cook a year ago saying that autonomous systems are "a core technology" that the company views as "very important".

The new figures show that Apple still has the second-largest autonomous-car test fleet in California, which is arguably the epicenter of self-driving auto research. The number is up from 27 vehicles back in January this year.

Behind Apple lags Waymo, which has 51 vehicles registered in California, and Tesla, which has 39 vehicles. Apple may have more self-driving cars than Waymo in California, but Waymo likely has more overall. "Apple is second only to General Motors which performs tests with Cruise - its self-driving division".

At present, Apple has 55 self-driving vehicles that it is testing on public roads.

Said to be codenamed 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. Apple CEO Tim Cook has called self-driving "a core technology that we view as very important". "It's probably one of the most hard AI projects actually to work on".

But before a company can acquire the required permit, it has to test its cars in a controlled setting.