Apple's fleet of self-driving vehicles has almost doubled over the past two months, according to the Financial Times (which requires a subscription). The article says that, based on figures provided by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the tech giant now has permits for 45 autonomous vehicles, up from 27 in January.
Apple's fleet is now the second largest in California, behind only General Motors subsidiary Cruise Automation and its 110 cars, according the Financial Times. Google-owned Waymo has 24 self-driving test cars in the state, while Tesla has 39.
Last June Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed to Bloomberg that the company is developing self-driving car technology, which he calls a “core” technology. The comments mark the first time Cook has discussed the long-rumored “Apple Car” project publicly, though he was vague about any manufacturing plans.
“We’re focusing on autonomous systems,” Cook said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “It’s a core technology that we view as very important We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects. It’s probably one of the most difficult A.I. projects actually to work on.”
As the Sellers Research Group (that’s me) has long said, I don't think that Apple will actually build its own automobiles, but will work with other manufactures to implement technologies such as enhanced CarPlay into their vehicles.