Apple permitted to test autonomous vehicles on California roads

While the Cupertino company has been notoriously quiet about its autonomous car plans, the DMV has given it the green light to test the vehicles.

While Apple has been relatively quiet about its work on autonomous vehicles, the California Department of Motor Vehicles has confirmed on its website that the Cupertino company has a permit to test such vehicles on the road.

Apple is listed on the site along with about three dozen other companies that include other tech giants like Google, traditional car manufacturers like Ford and startups like Zoox.

The closest Apple has come to confirming its work in this area came in November, when it sent a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the US agency overseeing autonomous car regulation. Apple "is investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation," the letter said.

Reports about Apple's research into cars, dubbed Project Titan, have existed for a couple years. Last fall, dozens of employees from the project were reportedly laid off.

Apple did not directly respond to questions about when it may test autonomous vehicles on the road. The company pointed back to its statements to the NHTSA, when it said, "there are many potential applications for these technologies, including the future of transportation."

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