California’s Department of Motor Vehicles has confirmed that Apple has been granted a permit to test autonomous vehicles there.
It means it can carry out test drives in Lexus RX450hs, which could suggest that it is working on software to go in other cars rather than actually building a car of its own.
“This does confirm what’s long been rumoured: that Apple is at least toying with the idea of getting into the autonomous game in some capacity,” Chris Theodore, president of consultancy Theodore & Associates, and a former vice president at Ford Motor Co and Chrysler told Reuters.
“This is not necessarily automobiles as initially rumoured, but software or possibly hardware associated with autonomous technology,” Theodore added.
Reuters adds that an Apple spokesman declined to comment directly on the filing, pointing back to a statement the company made in November when it wrote to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on the subject of regulating self-driving vehicles.