According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (CA DMV), Apple not only continues its notoriously mysterious autonomous vehicle program, but now has 70 cars that have been approved for testing within the State.
Apple does not talk about their self-driving vehicle program, for reasons they have not yet disclosed, even if it has been going on for a bit over 18 months already. The only way we are even aware of the program exists in the first place is because the company needed to file a permit with the CA DMV, which is responsible with monitoring AVs in the state of California.
It’s also thanks to the CA DMV that we know the company registered its first low-speed accident on August 24th, when one of the cars, driving at 1mph, was rear-ended by a Nissan Leaf. The damage was moderate and no one got hurt.
According to the report, we now know that the self-driving Apple vehicle was a 2016i Lexus RX450H, which happens to be the same model that Google had used to test its own self-driving system.
Apple initially started the program with just three vehicles and expanded to 70, making it the third largest fleet of self-driving cars out there, with GM Cruise leading the way at 175, followed by Waymo, which has 88.
At the moment, the company has not yet applied for a driverless testing permit and currently employs 139 drivers to tag along in their cars.