News Worms
News Worms


Apple Self-Driving Car Project is Alive

(Adds share price) By Jessica Resnick-Ault April 14 (Reuters) - Apple Inc has secured a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California, fueling speculation that it is working on self-driving auto technology in a crowded arena of companies hoping to offer those cars to the masses.

Apple's possession of the permit indicates that the company could begin testing autonomous vehicles on California roads, and an Apple source reportedly told Bloomberg that testing would begin "soon", but no specific time frame was given.

Though Apple has yet to officially announce that they are working on self-driving cars, having them on the official list of companies confirms that they are, indeed, quietly working their way to the autonomous automobile industry.

The firm in December sent a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that hinted at work on self-driving vehicles.

At that point, Apple said it had provided comments to the NHTSA "because Apple is investing heavily in machine learning and autonomous systems".

Late past year, Apple revealed it is investing heavily in autonomous vehicles in a letter asking the government to make it easier to develop self-driving cars.

The DMV yesterday provided confirmation that not only was Apple working on automotive technology, it also had plans for autonomous vehicles. It is rumored that over 1,000 employees are now working on " Project Titan" at their main and satellite offices.

"This does confirm what's always been rumored: that Apple is at least toying with the idea of getting into the autonomous game in some capacity", said Chris Theodore, president of consultancy Theodore & Associates, and a former executive at Ford Motor Co (F) and Chrysler. The list includes major automakers, including Ford, General Motors, BMW, Volkswagen and Tesla, as well as one of its biggest rivals in technology, Google, whose testing of self-driving cars has been spun off into an affiliate called Waymo. Some of the new hires came from companies such as Ford and Tesla, who are also researching self-driving technology. He said that the permit might be related to software or hardware for autonomous technology. Nothing further was reported on that deal, and Apple had just two months before hired Dan Dodge, the founder and former CEO of QNX, a software company that specializes in "microkernel" operating systems and integrated driving and info-tainment systems which are used in multiple high-end vehicle brands including Audi, Jaguar, and Mercedez Benz.

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