Apple Receives Permit To Test Self-Driving Cars
It doesn't mean that they are; it just means that they can.
People have long suspected that Apple was doing research in the field of autonomous vehicles, but until now, there just wasn't any proof. However, the California DMV has recently released a list of manufacturers who have been granted permits to test self-driving vehicles on California roads, and Apple is one of them.
Apple joined the list, which is ordered by the date the issue was permitted, behind 29 other firms who are already researching the technology. Notable entries include Volkswagen Group of America at the top of the list, Google at the third spot, Tesla Motors at the fifth, and several other big-name automobile manufacturers filling out the top dozen spots. Getting toward the more recent end of the list are companies like Telenav, Inc., NVIDIA Corporation, Uber, and lastly Apple.
Interestingly, the autonomous vehicle portal on the California DMV website shows that companies are required to report vehicle accidents and disengagements — inevitabilities in autonomous vehicle testing — and Apple has yet to report either. Barring the possibility that they've had zero issues in the arena, which is likely impossible, one can only assume that they haven't tested any vehicles on public roads at all.
Digging even further reveals that only 11 of the 30 companies that have been granted permits reported disengagements in 2016, and of that list, 8 are well-known automobile manufacturers or subsidiaries thereof. That means that just three engineering or software companies are testing autonomous vehicles on public California roads; it also likely means that 19 of the companies who have applied for permits haven't done any testing on public roads at all.
Apple has rather stoicly denied working on self-driving cars through the past few years. However, city permits uncovered in 2015 showed that Apple referred to an "auto work area" when renovating an office complex in Sunnyvale, which revealed that the company was at least interested in the market. That said, it may be that Apple is more interested in designing the interior experience of a self-driving car — the part that the otherwise-unoccupied passengers would be interacting with — as opposed to the self-driving technology within the car itself.
In addition to researching autonomous cars, Apple also manufacturers a popular little device called the iPhone, a system that's ideally-suited to running any or all of the titles included on our list of the Best iOS Games.