Apple has added two-dozen vehicles to its fleet of self-driving cars in California for a total of 27, according to Bloomberg, signaling the company’s seriousness in competing in autonomous vehicle technology with others like Alphabet’s Waymo.
Apple has registered 24 Lexus RX450h sport-utility vehicles between July 2017 and January 2018, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. That’s in addition to three self-driving vehicles for which Apple sought permits in April of 2017.
In June 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook first acknowledged in an interview with Bloomberg that the company, known best for the iPhone and Mac computers, was working “on autonomous systems” for vehicles.
According to reports, Apple initially set out to build a self-driving vehicle as part of what was called Project Titan. But because of escalating costs, it refocused on autonomous vehicle systems.
“There is a major disruption looming there. You’ve got kind of three vectors of change happening generally in the same time frame,” Cook told Bloomberg last year, referring to self-driving cars, ride-sharing, and electric vehicles.
Tech companies and traditional automakers are all working on autonomous technology. For example, in 2017, Fiat Chrysler partnered with BMW and Waymo to work on self-driving technology (Waymo is currently testing 600 Chrysler Pacifica minivans in Phoenix).
Here is a list of companies with permits from California’s DMV to test autonomous vehicles as of as of Jan. 11:
Volkswagen Group of America
Faraday & Future Inc.
Valeo North America
AutoX Technologies Inc
Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation
SAIC Innovation Center
Continental Automotive Systems
Toyota Research Institute