Apple's California Self-Driving Car Test Fleet Continues to Grow

Apple Self Driving Lexus

The company is believed to have shifted focus to creating autonomous auto technology after its plan to build an entire vehicle suffered technical delays, employee departures, and poor focus.

The Cupertino-based tech giant had 45 self-driving cars until late March.

Little is known about Apple's auto platform, but according to California's Department of Motor Vehicles, Apple now has a total of 55 self-driving test vehicles and 83 authorised drivers.

Last April, Apple first received a permit to test autonomous vehicles in the state starting with only three Lexus Rx450h SUVs.

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Some other notable entries are Tesla with 39 vehicles and Toyota Research Institute with 11.

Apple's 55-vehicle fleet is the second largest in California, behind only Cruise, a self-driving company owned by GM, which sports a 104-strong fleet. Waymo, for example, used to have over 100 self-driving cars in the state before moving part of its fleet to Arizona and MI, where additional testing is now taking place. In addition to California, Waymo tests its cars on public roads in Arizona, Michigan, and Georgia.

Apple has been secretly working on its own self-driving vehicle program for years, but during that time it hasn't shared much information about the project. This news makes it seem likely Apple will embrace it.

Chief Executive Officer at Apple, Tim Cook called self-driving a core technology that we view as very important. The DMV also revealed that a second unnamed company had requested approval to begin driverless testing, but hasn't parted with any additional details.

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