Apple appears to be gradually accelerating its self-driving car program and now has over 200 people testing its vehicles.
Data from the California DMV (via macReports) indicates that Apple has 201 people testing autonomous driving features on public roads. Apple currently has a fleet of 67 vehicles.
The overall size of Apple’s self-driving fleet hasn’t changed much since 2021 but its number of testers is gradually increasing. Apple added 51 testers in 2022 and an additional five testers in the first few months of 2023.
On 21st February 2023, one of Apple’s vehicles clipped a curb. If that wasn’t uninteresting enough, it was being driven manually at the time.
“On February 21st, a test vehicle operating in manual driving mode was making a u-turn from Westbound to Eastbound Homestead Road at the intersection with Kennewick Drive in Sunnyvale when the right front tire and rim made contact with the curb.
No injuries were reported and law enforcement was not called to the scene. The test vehicle sustained damage to the right front rim.”
Overall, Apple’s vehicles have been involved in some form of “collision” 16 times so far. Self-driving vehicles from Waymo and Cruise have been involved in 227 and 203 collisions, respectively.
Before we give too much credit to Apple for its relative safety record, it’s worth noting the company has a couple of hundred fewer cars on the road than both competitors. Waymo has 265 vehicles while Cruise has 301.
Apple isn’t expected to debut its self-driving vehicle until at least 2026.
(Photo by Sahej Brar on Unsplash)
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