The company was granted approval by the California Department of Motor Vehicles to test autonomous driving technology on public roads, according to a notice on the DMV’s website on Friday. This is the first time Apple has received approval to test its technology on public streets.
Apple will soon begin testing self-driving car software with existing vehicles, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Cupertino, California-based company started developing a self-driving car to take on Google and Tesla Inc. a few years ago before it pulled back and focused on first developing underlying autonomous technology last year, Bloomberg News has reported.
The tests are the clearest, public sign yet that Apple is serious about a nascent field that could, in time, transform mobility and upend the auto industry. A quarter of all miles driven in the U.S. may happen in shared, self-driving electric cars by the end of the next decade, Boston Consulting Group said this month. Apple wants a piece of this action, but it’s got a lot of competition: 29 other companies have autonomous vehicle testing permits in California.