Whilst Apple is dealing with the latest launch of the new iPhones and the latest mobile operating system, iOS 12, yes you can download it now, another division of theirs is also ramping up, autonomous cars. In California where they are allowed to run tests, companies must also file a report to the Department of Motor Vehicles to inform them of any new cars going on public roads.
As of now, Apple has 70 cars running around in California, a huge increase in cars since it started with 3 cars. In comparison, GM Cruise has 175 test vehicles and Waymo has 88 test vehicles. Do note that these vehicles are all in California and doesn’t include other states (Waymo has a fleet in Phoenix Arizona as well). In 4th place is Tesla with 39 vehicles and 92 drivers.
Besides having a high number of approved test vehicles on the road, companies must also comply by having approved test drivers as well. These are the drivers who are authorised to get behind the wheel of the autonomous vehicles. Apple has 139 approved drivers, Waymo has 415 approved drivers, GM Cruise has 467 drivers and Tesla has 92 drivers.
Compared to how Apple operates for their mobile phones and other divisions, their autonomous self-driving car program is like an open secret. This is thanks to government agencies such as the DMV who requires that car companies report their test vehicles especially if they are testing on public roads. Safety to the public is still a key priority.
Just recently, Apple reported to the DMV that they recorded their first accident.