Apple's autonomous fleet is now the second-largest in the USA

The 2015 Lexus RX450h is Apple's vehicle of choice

The 2015 Lexus RX450h is Apple's vehicle of choice

According to the Department of motor vehicles California, now registered in the state of unmanned vehicles is 409 units, a license for their testing got nearly 1600 drivers.

Last April, Apple first received a permit to test autonomous vehicles in the state starting with only three Lexus Rx450h SUVs.

But now, the Cupertino tech giant is reaping the fruits of its ramped-up investment in the new technology, beating out Tesla and Waymo for the second-most self-driving auto permits with the DMV, according to a report from the Apple-focused tech blog Mac Reports. The vehicles are equipped with advanced LIDAR tools, along with several cameras to sense the entire driving environment.

APPLE IS RUNNING more than 50 autonomous cars around California, the state's Department of Motor Vehicles has told Mac Reports. Free for 14 days - no credit card required!

The self-driving vehicle permits issued by California's DMV require a safety driver to be on board to grab the wheel at any time. Waymo applied to the California DMV for a permit to test without human supervision last month, though it's not clear whether it has been accepted.

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

Apple has 83 drivers under its permits, which is fewer than General Motors, Waymo and Tesla. Apple may have more self-driving cars than Waymo in California, but Waymo likely has more overall. Tesla had slightly more drivers than Apple at 92, but fewer vehicles at 39.

Apple has once again expanded its fleet of self-driving cars in California, according to MacReports. It may just partner with auto manufacturers to deploy its self-driving software, like it's done with CarPlay, or it could go back to its original dream of making an Apple vehicle. But building an entire self-driving auto fleet from the ground up proved too hard. That puts it four cars ahead of the latest figures we have for Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving auto division thought to be among the leaders in the sector.

Interestingly, only in June 2017, the head of Apple Tim cook for the first time confirmed that his company has a division that develops technology for Autonomous cars.

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