Apple may start testing its much rumoured self-driving car soon, as the company recently got a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to test autonomous driving tech.
The iPhone maker has largely been mum on the development of its driverless car and never officially acknowledged that it has plans to enter the self-driving market. Reports in 2016 suggested, the company had dropped its plans to develop the automobile component and instead focus on the automation technology, similar to what Google is doing.
"Apple uses machine learning to make its products and services smarter, more intuitive and more personal. The company is investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation," the company said in December 2015 while being questioned about its rumoured self-driving car project.
A statement from the DMV indicates that three cars, all of them 2015's Lexus RX450h models, have got permission under the current permit to take test runs in California. Additionally, six drivers have been given permission to be part of these trails. DMV rules require that a human driver always be seated in the car even if it is on autonomous driving mode.
The same permit granted to Apple was also granted to 29 other companies that include Mercedes, Volkswagen, BMW, Bosch, Nissan, Honda and Ford among others. Some others on the list like Tesla, Uber and Google have already completed thousands of miles in test runs while Apple is yet to project any vehicle on public roads for test runs.