Apple approved to test Self-Driving cars in California

Some secret projects cannot be hidden forever

News this Easter weekend that confirms in part something that has long been rumoured – Apple is indeed working in some way on Vehicle technology as the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) adds Apple Inc to the list of companies to which it has issued Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permits.

By no means does this confirm an “Apple Car”, in fact the permit granted to Apple covers the use of Lexus RX450h vehicles.

Like Google did in the past, Apple will most likely be fitting these vehicles with it’s own software and hardware to test in real-world conditions what they’ve been secretly developing in their own labs.

In terms of timelines, you’d have to argue Apple is a long way behind the eight ball here – Google for example has been developing this technology for a very long time, Tesla have got vehicles on the road of their own making running live and development technology.

This permit isn’t the first time Apple’s company name has been listed in this space, having previously made government submissions – and it’s unlikely you’ll see Lexus vehicles with an Apple logo on the side.

Apple will chip away at this space, and at some stage reveal their plans – you’d be mad to assume it’s the future of Apple, but you’d also be mad to assume it won’t be a huge part of their future – this is one company that’s very hard to read and predict at the best of times.

Given the scale of manufacturing you need to build your own cars, the odds would be stronger in favour of Apple as a software provider to existing manufacturers in the future.

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Motoring

Trevor produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He has a weekly radio show on 2UE, as well as appearances across the country and regularly provides Technology Commentary to Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
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