In the streets of California, many robots are on the road. However, the company does not build its own cars.
Apple’s plans for self-propelled cars are now official – even if it remains unclear how far the iPhone Group wants to push into the business with the mobility of the future. Apple was given permission to test self-propelled cars on public roads in California. The approval, publicly made on Friday by the Federal Traffic Authorities, is the clearest indication of the ambitions of the smartphone and computer manufacturer in the competitive future market for autonomous driving.
As the traffic authorities reported, the approval was granted for three converted Lexus SUVs and six drivers. Also in the cars of alphabet daughter Waymo and Uber, drivers have to sit at the wheel, in order to intervene in an emergency. A person familiar with the matter said, according to “Bloomberg”, the software tests are to begin soon. Apple has not had any comments on the concrete plans of the company.
Apple is the 30th company, which was issued in the most populous federal state such a license. In addition to Waymo and Uber, large players from the automotive sector, such as Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Bosch, Ford, General Motors and Tesla, have long been permitted to test robotic cars in California. It was only recently that the transport authority was not able to test its self-propelled cars without such permission, but the traffic authorities did not play along.
At the end of December 2016, the authorities quickly withdrew the car from the car. At the beginning of March, Uber applied for the necessary license for self-propelled cars.
Although Apple’s commitment to robotic cars has long been considered as an open secret, it has never been publicly confirmed by the Group itself. The clearest hint so far has been a letter to the American traffic authority NHTSA, in order to contribute to guidelines for self-propelled cars. Otherwise it just meant that Apple is very interested in the potential of automated systems in a wide range of fields – especially in the field of mobility.
Apple first started the development of its own electric vehicles up to first prototypes a few years ago, but then focused on the software for autonomous driving.