Did We Just Get Confirmation Of An Apple Car?
For years, Apple has been dancing around the potential of building a car of its own instead of simply providing Apple CarPlay to other companies. No one could ever tell if the “Apple Car” was simply a stretch goal or something the company was seriously looking into. In 2015, Apple promised delivery of a self-driving car by 2019 (later pushing it to 2020) and went so far as to tour BMW manufacturing facilities and hire former automotive executives to join the team. By the end of last year, however, it seemed as if the Apple Car (officially known as Project Titan) was well and truly dead. Until today, that is.
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What happened today was not a big press conference from Apple or a casual remark from its CEO. It was a quiet website update from the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles on its page that lists companies that are authorized to test autonomous vehicles in the state. The list is populated with the usual suspects, including Google, Nissan, and GM Cruise LLC, but tucked in at the bottom is a mention of Apple Inc.
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) April 14, 2017
Before anyone shrugs this off as something that maybe Apple applied for a while ago, or on a whim, we took a look at the process for applying for permission to test self-driving cars in California. Page one of the application requires that companies or individuals list what vehicles are equipped with autonomous technology by plate number, VIN, and other information. Drivers that will be testing the vehicles must also be listed. Therefore for Apple to apply to test a self-driving car or related technology a functioning prototype at the very least would have to exist.
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Hopefully the confirmation of the existence of some sort of Apple Car will lead to some spy photographs soon. We all want to know if Apple Stores will be selling cars alongside iPads and iPhones in the future.