BI Chinese Station reported on May 15
Apple’s unmanned test vehicles in California are rapidly increasing. According to data released by the California Motor Vehicle Authority (DMV), as of May 9, Apple’s registered and tested unmanned vehicles in California have increased to 55.
In January of this year, Apple tested only 27 vehicles in California. The company received its first license to test driverless cars in California in April last year. It initially had only three Lexus Rx450h SUVs. According to data from the California Motor Vehicle Authority, a total of 51 companies have registered 409 unmanned test vehicles in the state.
Apple’s 55 test vehicles are California’s second largest driverless fleet, second only to General Motor’s unmanned subsidiary, Cruise, which owns 104 unmanned test vehicles. In fact, during the test, Apple’s driverless car is already faster than the Google parent company Alphabet’s own driverless car subsidiaries Waymo (51 cars), Tesla (39 cars), BMW (12 cars), Toyota (11 cars). And there are more companies such as Mercedes-Benz (5 cars).
Apple's object detection software
These test licenses make it possible for unmanned vehicles to legally drive on California's roads as long as they have a driver sitting behind the wheel and ready to take over when signs of trouble appear.
It's worth noting that companies like Waymo and Uber used to have more driverless cars in California. Take Waymo, for example, the company once owned more than 100 unmanned cars in California, after which part of the team moved to Arizona and Michigan, where additional tests are currently being conducted.
Uber left California at the end of 2016 and took 16 test vehicles, after the California Motor Vehicle Authority threatened to revoke its vehicle registration.
Calculate driverless technology companies in California based on the number of driverless test vehicles
The rapid increase in the number of Apple's driverless test vehicles indicates that it is serious about developing unmanned technology. Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive officer, claims that driverless technology is "one of our most important core technologies." Apple’s driverless car program remains a mystery, but it seems to center on testing and collecting driverless data, rather than developing a complete vehicle.
Cook said last summer: "We see it as the mother of all artificial intelligence projects, which may be one of the most difficult artificial intelligence projects." "However, Apple has not yet obtained a license to test a driverless car without a safe driver, and Waymo has obtained the relevant permission."