Apple receives permit to test self-driving cars in California

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Dodge's hire, according to a Bloomberg report, was part of a strategic shift within the Project Titan group to focus on building a self-driving software platform rather than a full blown vehicle.

But with its permit, Apple is leaping into an increasingly competitive race to build the world's first mainstream self-driving auto.

Apple's permit in California applies to three vehicles - all 2015 Lexus RX 450h hybrid SUVs - and six individual drivers, according to The Assciated Press. The current info details that while Apple is actively involved in self-driving vehicle testing to some degree, it is yet to be confirmed if the tech giant will be releasing its own auto in the near future or not.

Apparently, Apple wasn't kidding around.

According to California's DMV, Apple is branching into the autonomous vehicle business. Some others on the list like Tesla, Uber and Google have already completed thousands of miles in test runs while Apple is yet to project any vehicle on public roads for test runs.

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Aside from the new permit, Apple has provided little insight into its vehicle-related efforts. Apple has reportedly a thousand workers assigned to the Project Titan.

Subject to standard regulations for testing autonomous technology on public roads, the Apple cars will have a person behind the wheel to monitor the testing, the person told Bloomberg.

Information released by the California DMV on autonomous vehicles also reveals that Google has had the lion's share of autonomous vehicle accidents, so far, during the test period.

Apple provided no new comment on its autonomous driving programme, but referred to a statement in December when it acknowledged plans to develop self-driving cars with a letter to the highways regulator. A quarter of all miles driven in the USA may happen in shared, self-driving electric cars by the end of the next decade, Boston Consulting Group said this month. "There are many potential applications for these technologies, including the future of transportation". At the time, it was seen as the strongest hint that Apple was still committed to self-driving technology.

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