Just last year, Apple was in the backseat of an increasingly crowded competition for self-driving cars with Google-owned Waymo, Tesla and Uber vying for an edge.

Apple had just three permits from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to operate self-driving cars.

But now, the is reaping the fruits of its ramped-up investment in the new technology, beating out Tesla and Waymo for the second-most self-driving car permits with the DMV, according to a report from the Apple-focused tech blog Mac Reports.

Apple has 55 permits that allow it to test self-driving cars on California roads, finishing second behind General Motor’s Cruise division, which has 104 permits.

Apple rapidly grew out its fleet from three in April 2017. In January, Apple increased its self-driving car fleet ninefold to 27 and to 45 by April this year. In May, Apple got permits for 10 more self-driving vehicles, according to Mac Reports.

The self-driving car permits issued by California’s DMV requires a safety driver be on board to grab the wheel at any time. But driverless car permits may soon be issued by the DMV; after the DMV’s Office of Administrative Law approved the driverless testing regulations in February, the DMV was able to approve applications for driverless car permits starting on April 2.

So far, Apple has not applied for a driverless car permit, according to Mac Reports.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple has 83 drivers under its permits, which is less than General Motors, Waymo, Tesla. Waymo had the largest gulf between its self-driver car permits and the number of drivers at 51 vehicles and 338 drivers. Tesla had slightly more drivers than Apple at 92 but fewer vehicles at 39.

In total, there are 53 permit holders for self-driving vehicles in the state of California. Among the 53 companies, which …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business

      

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