Apple joins the ranks of multiple tech companies after developing a driverless car and getting the okay to try it out in California. Uncertainty lingered for months as to whether Apple would go through with such a large project, but now it’s official.
On the list of self-driving vehicle testers are automakers like Ford and Honda, though they’re joined by larger companies like Tesla and Uber who have created their own versions of the independent automobile. Unlike others, Apple was near silent about its participation in the developing trend, and it was a pleasant surprise to hear it would be following through.
Having been the thirtieth company to receive a permit, Apple will be testing three 2015 Lexus RX540h models in conjunction with six drivers. These cars may be among the twelve million self-driving automobiles expected to be used by the public in eight years’ time. It’s up to Apple whether it will hold onto its permit for later use, or strap down and get testing immediately.
Although the successful tech company has kept many details of its future plans under wraps, a letter it wrote to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requested permission to collaborate on an autonomous vehicle project. As expected, Apple is diligently reading up on all things machine.
Apple has also shown interest in simulating car crashes and collecting data from real ones in a way that hides identities in order to preserve privacy. Finding a functional way to do this will allow the automotive industry to correct its mistakes and improve its weaknesses.
Will Apple beat out the rest for the best driverless car? Only time – and tests – will tell.