The iPhone of cars? Apple enters self-driving vehicle race

Apple never confirmed the existence of Titan, which is now believed to be dead. "So until we see something more concrete, its biggest concern may be how much competition there is in the space and how quickly that competition seems to be advancing their autonomous efforts".

After months of speculation that the company is developing automotive technology, Apple has officially leapt into the war for self-driving cars by obtaining a test permit from California regulators. As per a report published by Bloomberg, a source in Apple informed that the company would soon start testing its technology on public roads in California.

All autonomous technology makers must apply for and be granted permission to test a vehicle on public roads from the DMV. "The permit covers three vehicles, all 2015 Lexus RX450h, and six drivers", a DMV spokesperson said.

At this point, it's unclear if Apple is looking to create a self-driving vehicle, or just technology for self-driving cars. Other companies on the list include Ford, BMW, Honda, Mercedes Benz, Google, and Tesla. And not just in a run-of-the-mill sedan: Apple is testing self-driving vehicles. Although it has never openly acknowledged it is looking into building an electric vehicle, Apple has recruited dozens of auto experts in recent years, and the permit puts the company bit a head on any possible plan.

However, on Friday the company appeared on the state's Department of Motor Vehicle's list of approved applicants to test autonomous vehicles.

Apple executives have been coy about their interest in cars.

The largest U.S. automaker made the announcement Thursday, amid a race in the industry on autonomous vehicle research.

That means Apple has a long way to catch up in self-driving technology.

The California-based tech giant is expected to focus on software systems, letting partners manufacture vehicles, but would understandably want to be able to test its navigation technology in cars.

"We've provided comments to NHTSA because Apple is investing heavily in machine learning and autonomous systems", Apple said at the time.

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