Apple Expands Self-driving Car Fleet in California, Apple Car Not in Sight

Apple is slowly expanding its self-driving car fleet in California. At the end of July, the company added another vehicle to its fleet, which would raise the total to 69 self-driving cars. Furthermore, the Cupertino giant has also added sixteen driver permits to the program.
Lexus RX fitted with Apple self-driving car software 8 photos
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube video posted by
Apple iCar conceptApple iCar conceptApple iCar conceptApple iCar conceptApple iCar conceptApple iCar conceptApple iCar concept
According to several reports, Apple currently has 92 employees with state-issued permits to operate self-driving vehicles. Even with the expansion of its driver roster, Apple is still third in the self-driving car game in California, as GM's Cruise and Waymo have numerous more drivers and vehicles.

Reports claim Waymo has about 373 drivers in its roster, nearly four times more than Apple's recently expanded crew, while GM-owned Cruise has 102 state-certified drivers. As Apple Insider notes, Waymo has 615 cars in-field testing, while GM's Cruise division has 201 vehicles involved in self-driving car testing.

Unlike GM, Apple does not build cars, and it is unclear what the American technology corporation will do with its self-driving car tech. Rumors about a car from Apple appeared back in 2014, and its Project Titan had over 1,000 employees until late 2016 when company executives decided to cut back the team.

If Apple does decide to sell a car that drives itself, the company would have to partner with an automaker to enable it to develop a vehicle within a reasonable time. Hyundai was one of the brands that were involved in negotiating with Apple for the manufacturing part of the alleged Apple car, but the deal fell through.

With no official partnership with a manufacturer, Apple is left with buying vehicles from whatever automakers it chooses until the company develops a fully functional self-driving car technology. Some believe that Tesla would be the best partner for the role, but the two companies did not share the same vision.

Apple's self-driving car project was not left ignored by competitors in its field, as tech giants like Xiaomi and Huawei have announced similar plans.
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Editor's note: Gallery shows rendering of iCar concept, a CGI project that is not related to Apple.

About the author: Sebastian Toma
Sebastian Toma profile photo

Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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