Apple enters self-driving auto race

Apple has obtained a permit to test self-driving vehicles, putting the iPhone maker in competition with Google and others. The permit awarded by California's Department of Motor Vehicles is Apple's first for autonomous cars and allows it to test drive vehicles on public roads in the largest U.S. state by population; Alphabet and Tesla already hold the same permits. All three of the vehicles registered are 2015 Lexus RX450h SUVs, according to the state DMV, and are equipped with the autonomous tech. Companies are required to get a permit before testing autonomous vehicles on the state's public roads.

Truth be said, the license only confirms that Apple's autonomous vehicle initiative isn't completely dead. As The Verge also describes, the question of whether or not Apple is currently testing driverless vehicles remains unknown for now. The permit requires companies to disclose traffic incidents related to their testing within 10 business days of the event. Last fall, Apple shut down parts of their self-driving vehicle program and had some layoffs, but this week, as Gizmodo reports, there's evidence that they're still in the game.

Rumors about the so-called Apple auto have been circulating for more than two years. "We'll know more about Apple's secretive efforts after the company files its first report".

No other information was provided by the DMV. There has been recurring speculation that Apple might eventually acquire Tesla, which has a market value of about $50 billion. It does, however, tell us Project Titan is still moving along.

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There are whispers going around that Apple is developing and maturing its secret automotive project at a facility which is simply known as "SG5", located in Sunnyvale, California.

Late a year ago, Apple submitted a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in which it said that it was "investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation". Apple registered six drivers that monitor these cars.

The disagreement among Apple watchers might just be a reflection of disagreement on the issue within Apple.

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