Apple Has Bigger Autonomous Car Fleet Than Uber, Tesla, Google

The 2015 Lexus RX450h is Apple's vehicle of choice

It has been confirmed by the Department of Motor Vehicles in California that ever since Apple received a permit to test self-driving cars on public roads in the state, the size of its fleet has gradually grown from 27 in January this year to 55 in May. The company also has 83 registered safety drivers in the Golden State.

One important thing to note here is that Apple has yet to apply for a separate driverless testing permit, which would allow the company to test autonomous vehicles without a person in the auto. In March this year, that number was at 45. That gives it the second-largest fleet in the United States of America, ahead of Waymo's 51 cars, but still well behind GM Cruise, which boasts 104.

The tight-lipped tech giant has rapidly built up its self-driving auto program, known as Project Titan, since gaining a testing permit in April of past year. Apple actually has more self-driving cars in testing than self-driving pioneers such as Waymo (51) and Tesla (39), as well as big automotive companies like BMW (12), Toyota (11), and Mercedes Benz (5). Apple may have more self-driving cars than Waymo in California, but Waymo likely has more overall. There is no indication that Apple is testing autonomous cars outside its home state.

Nonetheless, it underlines how seriously Apple is taking this technology.

Chief Executive Officer at Apple, Tim Cook called self-driving a core technology that we view as very important. "It's probably one of the most hard AI projects actually to work on", Cook said last summer. Waymo applied for that permit.

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