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Apple to begin testing self-driving car tech in California

Apple to begin testing self-driving car tech in California

The secretive Cupertino firm has never confirmed rumors that it's running "Project Titan" to produce an electric vehicle that may be autonomous.

In October, Bloomberg reported that Apple's new approach would be to develop self-driving auto technology and sell it to automakers, instead of making its own vehicle from the wheels up.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple's permit covers three 2015 Lexus SUVs and six different drivers who must sit behind the wheel to monitor the driving and takeover when needed.

Apple's interest in autonomous vehicle technology has always been clear.

Household names like Google, Tesla and Ford are also on the California DMV's list.

The iPhone maker is just one of more than a dozen companies to receive a permit today from California's Department of Motor Vehicles. There, the Times said that Apple was re-evaluating its goals in the automotive space. Apple hasn't been as secretive as it usually is with this project.

Apple has what appears to be a mostly separate organization of 1000 employees working on what it calls "Project Titan" in Sunnyvale, California and other satellite offices.

Some predicted that the company would itself be producing drivable vehicles.




Lately, California is crawling with self-driving cars.

But by last October, many in the team had reportedly left or been reassigned as a result of a strategic shift by the company to focus on the software side of self-driving technology.

The DMV's website was updated Friday to acknowledge Apple becoming a permit holder.

The company confirmed its arrival in the market, but wouldn't discuss its intentions.

Apple's competitors have already been testing autonomous vehicles.

Now that Apple will have to file public reports regarding its self-driving trials, expect more information to become available about Project Titan.

Few details have been revealed about Apple's plans for self-driving cars, according to Autotrader executive analyst Michelle Krebs.

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