Apple given permission to test self-driving cars in California

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misidentified the Lexus crossover that Apple has received permission to use in testing autonomous vehicle technology in California. The vehicles are all 2015 Lexus RX450h, according to the DMV. While CNN reported Apple has kept its interest in entering the self-driving vehicle industry closely held, it's believed they scaled back from initial plans to create an Apple auto.

'Project Titan, ' as Apple called its autonomous vehicle program, had an ambitious plan to compete with the likes of Google, Tesla and others as Silicon Valley tech companies sought to disrupt the auto industry. The group includes BMW, Ford, Honda, Nissan, Uber and others.

It seems like Apple has not yet hit the brakes on its self-driving vehicle.

That means Apple has a long way to catch up in self-driving technology.

"It's encouraging to hear Apple is still in the autonomous vehicle game", said Rebecca Lindland, executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book.

At this point, it's unclear if Apple is looking to create a self-driving auto, or just technology for self-driving cars.

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Apple is now employing the use of machine learning to make its products and services smarter, and as a result, more intuitive.

Late past year, Apple revealed it is investing heavily in autonomous vehicles in a letter asking the government to make it easier to develop self-driving cars.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment directly on the filing, pointing back to a statement the company made in November when it wrote to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on the subject of regulating self-driving vehicles. While it's extremely unlikely that we'll ever see a true "Apple Car"-we could see cars driven by Apple in the very near future".

Apple's move into self-driving cars has been hotly anticipated for years, and Friday's news is the latest indication that it is serious about the space.

The DMV says that any manufacturer of autonomous technologies must apply to the California DMV before it can test a vehicle in autonomous mode on public roads.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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