The California Department of Motor Vehicles has granted Apple a permit allowing it to begin testing self-driving cars on public roads.
The Official website of California Department of Motor Vehicles updated the list allowed to test autonomous vehicles in the state with Apple becoming the 30th company.
— kif (@kifleswing) April 14, 2017
The permit allows companies to conduct test drives in three vehicles with six individual drivers and The vehicles used in this process are all 2015 Lexus RX450h models, according to the State Department of Motor Vehicles. Google used Lexus SUVs outfitted with cameras and laser sensors.
Although it has never openly acknowledged it is looking into building an electric car, Apple has recruited dozens of auto experts in recent years, and the permit pulls the curtain back a bit on any possible plan.
In December, Apple said that it is investing heavily in “machine learning and autonomous systems” in a statement to federal regulators after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration made public an Apple letter giving input on autonomous car regulations.
According to theverge, Apple is no longer attempting to build its own autonomous, electric car to compete with companies like Tesla, but is instead focused on developing self-driving software it can deploy in partnership with existing car makers.