Apple Dramatically Increased Its Autonomous Vehicle Testing Last Year

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While Apple doesn’t have its own commercial autonomous vehicle yet, the company reportedly quadrupled the number of miles it tested on public roads last year compared to 2022 and beat its total in 2021 by a factor of more than 30, Wired reports.

Apple has a permit that allows it to test autonomous vehicle technology on the public roads in California provided it has a driver behind the wheel for safety. In contrast, Alphabet’s Waymo and Amazon’s Zoox are both able to test their technology in the state without safety drivers present.

The road numbers for all of the companies come from the state of California and are posted on the California DMV’s website.

The majority of Apple’s testing miles were logged in the second half of the year, with the testing hitting a high in August with 83,900 total miles logged on California roads across the company’s fleet of vehicles.

In total Apple logged around 450,000 miles in 2023, which seems high until you compare it to other autonomous vehicles. Waymo, for instance, logged 3.7 million miles in California with a driver behind the wheel and 1.2 million without, and General Motors’ Cruise, which halted its testing in California in October, logged 2.65 million in the state.

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The report comes after recent reports that Apple has pushed back the launch date for its first electric vehicle from 2026 to 2028.

According to that report, Apple’s vehicle design is still in the “pre-prototype” stage. The company has also reportedly lowered its ambitions from creating a self-driving vehicle without a steering wheel to an autonomous vehicle more in line with Tesla’s current offering.

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