Apple’s recent activity at the DMV indicates that the tech giant plans to expand its fleet of autonomous vehicles by two-dozen. Such an expansion could be seen as the company’s attempt to reinvest itself in driverless vehicles, an area in which it has fallen behind.
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, told Bloomberg that the company’s focus is not to build a car but an “autonomous system” that can be installed into one. Apple began its program by registering three Lexus Rx450h SUVs with the DMV in April of last year. Apple has acquired seventeen new cars—not including its latest purchase—since. Codenamed “Project Titan,” Apple’s autonomous car project remains relatively secretive, though it is unclear why. Navigant Research released a leaderboard scrutinizing the world’s autonomous vehicle race that placed Apple second to late, right ahead of Tesla.
Apple’s autonomous vehicles are easily spotted with their six LIDAR sensors, radar units and cameras, all cased in Apple’s signature white plastic. Apple’s system, if successful, could be installed in vehicles made by any manufacturer. A technology company like Apple might be better outfitted to create an autonomous system than it is to begin manufacturing cars.
[via The Verge]