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Apple Is Secretive About Product Development — But New Records Expose Its Approach to Autonomous Vehicles The tech giant made the biggest leap among companies testing automated vehicles in California.

By Amanda Breen

Key Takeaways

  • Apple tripled its automated vehicle testing mileage between 2022 and 2023 to 450,000 miles.
  • Some experts call the pace "a vote of confidence" in the future of automated driving.

Apple is increasingly taking its automated vehicles for a test drive — despite remaining tight-lipped about its ambitions.

Between December 2022 and November 2023, the tech giant's autonomous fleet, which boasts 67 vehicles, logged 450,000 miles, more than triple over the year before, for the largest spike among companies with the most testing in the state, The Washington Post reported.

Image Credit: picture alliance | Getty Images. Self-driving test car from Apple.

Related: What's Under the 'Hood' of Self-Driving Cars?

Apple has a reputation for keeping its product development quiet, leading some experts to call the experimentation with its automated technology under the public's and regulators' watch "a vote of confidence in the potential of automated driving," per the outlet.

Google-owned Waymo racked up more than 4.8 million miles last year, and General Motors-owned Cruise snagged the second-highest mileage at 2.7 million, according to state Department of Motor Vehicles data.

California state regulators gave both Waymo and Cruise permission to operate 24/7 robotaxi services in San Francisco last summer, but the California Department of Motor Vehicles suspended Cruise's permit just months later following allegations that the company withheld video footage from an incident that left a pedestrian stuck beneath its robotaxi, TechCrunch reported.

Related: What Happens When Self-Driving Cars Crash? The Legal Ramifications of Automation

Apple has been developing autonomous vehicles for years but only has permits to test in California with a human driver, per The Post.

In January, Bloomberg reported that Apple had delayed the launch of its self-driving technology to 2028 and is working on an electric vehicle "with more limited features."

Apple Inc is up nearly 25% year over year.

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a senior features writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

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