Don’t get your hopes up for an Apple Car just yet (but CarPlay’s future looks bright)

Don’t get your hopes up yet that Apple is making its own auto from scratch. Forbes reported Wednesday that — as I’ve suspected — the tech giant seems to be more interested in developing apps for self-driving cars than the cars themselves.

Apple Car rumors revived when it was reported that the California Department of Motor Vehicles had granted permits for Apple to test autonomous cars in California. However, Forbes says that those vehicles are three 2015 Lexus RX 450h hybrid SUVs. Industry analysts say the fact that only three vehicles are involved suggests the company is focusing on its CarPlay connectivity and infotainment platform and evolving it to deliver content tailored to autonomous vehicle passengers.

“If you had something like CarPlay that’s already got a big share of the vehicle market, which they do, you would absolutely be looking at what that service does and doesn’t do, and what it should do as vehicles move to” full autonomous capability, Eric Noble, president of The CarLab, an industry consultant in Orange, California, told Forbes. “You’re worried about evaluating (user experience) and what you want it to be."

In fact, Phone owners are largely satisfied with Apple's CarPlay, according to a new report from market research firm Strategy Analytics.