Apple has been secretly building its self-driving car technology and the company seems to be rapidly expanding the test. The company is believed to have upwards of 65 autonomous vehicles on the road in California, which seems to be part of a gradual increase that has been taking place over recent months.
The new details are based on information from records filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. According to macReports, Apple is still not the leader in the world of autonomous vehicles test in the state of California. GM’s autonomous startup Cruise leads the way with 333 drivers at the helm of 117 cars. Cruise is followed by Waymo with 72 cars and 411 drivers. Apple comes third with 66 cars and 111 drivers and its rise has been the most gradual of the pack.
The report also notes that the company is testing the autonomous vehicles in California but it does not yet hold a driverless car permit. This means that there is still someone behind the wheel overseeing the testing of the cars at this point. The Cupertino-based iPhone maker has just over 50 self-driving cars on the road in California.
Apple might seem lagging against brands like GM Cruise and Waymo but has a sizable lead on Tesla and other companies like Toyota. Apple’s autonomous driving system is codenamed Project Titan and a recent report revealed there are 5,000 employees working on the project. The company recently filed a case against former employee for stealing trade secret.
Apple was initially planning to make self-driving car but is believed to have settled on developing just the software. In May, it was reported that Apple has reached a self-driving car deal with Volkswagen and as part of the agreement, Apple is said to be working on turning Volkswagen’s T6 transport van into a self-driving shuttles for its employees.
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Apple is expected to ramp up its operations to expand it to more markets in the coming months. The real breakthrough will happen when the company gain license and starts testing vehicles without any drivers at the wheel.