For years, there’s been talk about Apple developing its own autonomous car to take on companies such as Google, Tesla and Uber. However, the prospect of the tech giant revealing its own car does sound a bit odd. If it’s willing to charge $1,000 for a smartphone, then how much would one of its own vehicles cost?
But over time, the rumours have shifted focus. It’s now thought that Apple is focusing its efforts on the technologies that actually power autonomous vehicles. Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that the firm is working on “autonomous systems” for the motoring market. He even called it “the mother of all AI projects.”
Unfortunately, Apple has been tight-lipped about these plans, although it’s likely that the company is developing LIDAR sensors and other hardware underpinning driverless cars.
Now, a Financial Times report claims that Apple has invested in an additional 18 self-driving cars, which are used for test reasons. Currently, the firm has about 45 of these cars in operation throughout California.
This number puts it ahead of both Uber and Tesla. According to DMV data cited in the report, the former has 29 self-driving car permits cars at its disposal, while the latter has 39 permits.
Of course, Uber has currently suspended its operations following a deadly crash that happened a few days ago. Meanwhile, Google-owned Waymo is actually been decreasing the amount of self-driving cars it has in its fleet.