US News Apple given licence to test self-driving cars on California roads

00:25  15 april  2017
00:25  15 april  2017 Source:   The Financial Times

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Apple granted California licence to test autonomous cars . Silicon Valley’s self - driving technology industry is already starting to look crowded, even though no provider has deployed a full commercial service on US roads .

Another self - driving car startup is about to hit the roads . The Wall Street Journal reports that Drive .ai, a Silicon Valley startup that received million in funding last year, has been granted a license to test autonomous vehicles on California roads .

Apple has been granted a licence to test autonomous vehicles in California, marking the public launch of its race with Uber, Alphabet and Tesla to define the future of driverless transportation.

The permit was revealed with Apple’s appearance on a list of approved companies on the west coast state’s automotive regulator’s website on Friday. 

Apple’s secretive automotive research project has been under way for more than two years although it is still unclear how soon any product will emerge from its labs.

Last year, the company abandoned near-term efforts to build an electric vehicle itself and refocused its development work on the autonomous systems that underpin self-driving cars, people familiar with the situation have said, as company veteran Bob Mansfield was appointed as the project’s new head. 

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California hands Apple licence to test autonomous vehicles. Last year the group abandoned efforts to build an electric vehicle and refocused on the systems that underpin self - driving cars , according to people familiar with the situation.

Apple is hard at work on some self - driving tech of its own, and it has now received permission to test its cars on Californian roads . Here is the complete list of manufacturers that can now test their autonomous cars on Californian roads

The latest disclosure again highlights Apple’s challenge in maintaining its notorious secrecy in product development as it enters more highly-regulated markets, from transportation to healthcare.

FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016 file photo, an Uber car in driverless mode waits in traffic during a test drive in San Francisco. Uber's self-driving cars will return to California's streets. But the company doesn't plan to pick up passengers for now. The California Department of Motor Vehicles said Wednesday, March 8, 2017, it has granted Uber permission to run two Volvo SUVs on public roads. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File) © AP FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016 file photo, an Uber car in driverless mode waits in traffic during a test drive in San Francisco. Uber's self-driving cars will return to California's streets. But the company doesn't plan to pick up passengers for now. The California Department of Motor Vehicles said Wednesday, March 8, 2017, it has granted Uber permission to run two Volvo SUVs on public roads. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

The company’s early discussions with the California Department of Motor Vehicles were first reported in September 2015, and for several months mapping vehicles equipped with cameras and sensors were spotted close to its Cupertino headquarters. 

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Apple 's product lineup may extend beyond cars and the connected home. A patent filed last year and published January 26 reveals a concept for a vaporizer. × Apple gets permit to test self - driving cars in California .

Apple 's interest in self - driving cars is becoming more transparent. The Apple headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California . × Apple gets permit to test self - driving cars in California .

Silicon Valley’s self-driving technology industry is already starting to look crowded, even though no provider has deployed a full commercial service on US roads. Apple is the 30th company to receive a permit in California, alongside carmakers such as Volkswagen, Ford and General Motors, as well as suppliers including Delphi and Bosch and start-ups such as Zoox, Drive.ai and Plus.ai. 

A DMV spokesman said that Apple had been licensed to test three vehicles, all of which are a 2015 Lexus RX450h, with six drivers. Companies often start with a small number of permits before gradually increasing them; Tesla and GM both have more than 20 autonomous testing vehicles on California’s roads while Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving division, has several dozen. 

Apple provided no new comment on its autonomous driving programme, which has never been publicly discussed by its executives. A spokesperson referred to a statement in December when Apple first acknowledged its plans to develop self-driving cars with a letter to the US national highways regulator.  

At that time, Apple said it was “investing heavily in machine learning and autonomous systems” with an eye on “many potential applications for these technologies, including the future of transportation”. 

December’s letter to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was part of the regulator’s ongoing consultation with manufacturers about its rules for autonomous cars.

Last month, the California DMV said it would ease some restrictions on testing self-driving vehicles, potentially paving the way for robot cars to come into public use as early as next year.

Twelve burned by 'noxious substance' at bar .
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Source: http://uk.pressfrom.com/news/world/us-news/-142021-apple-given-licence-to-test-self-driving-cars-on-california-roads/

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