Apple adds 23 more drivers, no new cars to its autonomous Apple Car fleet

Apple Car
Apple Car (Image credit: The Verge)

What you need to know

  • Apple's autonomous car project has picked up 23 new driers.
  • The number of cars remains the same — 69.
  • Apple is yet to apply for an autonomous permit.

Apple has added 23 new drivers to those driving around in its autonomous cars, but the number of actual vehicles hasn't changed, according to a new report and the California DMV. What's more, Apple still hasn't applied for a permit that would allow the cars to drive themselves.

Initially reported by macReports, Apple's drivers increased by 23, taking the total to 137. However, the number of cars in the fleet remains 69 and it's been that way since August.

While it still isn't clear what the so-called Apple Car project will turn into, Apple is far from the only company working on vehicles that can drive themselves. Mercedes Benz, Waymo, and others have all added new drivers and cars of late.

The fact that Apple is yet to apply for a permit to deploy a driverless vehicle isn't a huge surprise, but it might suggest that Apple is still a way behind the competition. Waymo currently has 34 driverless cars on the road, for example.

The Apple Car project has been ongoing for a number of years at this point and it isn't obvious to anyone what shape that project will eventually take. While Apple does at times appear to what to build a car of its own, sometimes it seems keener to sell its self-driving technology to other vehicle manufacturers — often depending on which particular rumor is doing the rounds at the time.

Apple was previously thought to be talking to companies like Hyundai and Kia about having them build an electric car, although that appears to have quietened down of late.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.