Apple cuts the number of drivers for its self-driving cars in half

Apple Car
Apple Car (Image credit: The Verge)

What you need to know

  • Apple has increased the number of self-driving test cars on the road.
  • It has also cut the number of drivers for those cars in half.

Apple's self-driving cars might be getting better.

As reported by MacReports, Apple has increased its fleet of self-driving cars while decreasing the number of drivers. According to the report, Apple has actually cut the number of drivers in half.

Today we have learned that Apple has increased its number of self-driving cars and decreased the number of drivers licensed to drive those cars by almost half. This is the first increase to their autonomous car fleet since August 2019. At that time, we reported that Apple was operating 66 vehicles. The number of Apple's self-driving cars then remained the same (66 vehicles) since. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, as of today, Apple has 68 cars.

Today's number of self-driving cars isn't, however, the highest number of cars Apple has had on the road at the same time. The company had 72 cars on the road back in November of 2018.

Another interesting thing is that the last time we reported on this in October of 2020, Apple had 154 drivers. Also, there had been no change since then in terms of the number of drivers, as we closely monitor the numbers. For the first time, Apple has drastically cut its number of drivers by more than half. Now, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Apple has 76 drivers for its autonomous fleet.Apple's original registration for autonomous vehicles included only three cars. As we have reported before, Apple gradually grew its fleet from 3 to 45 between April 2017 and March 2018. By May 2018 they had increased the number to 55, then increased again to 62 at the end of May 2018. The fleet size was 66 in July 2018 and it had increased to 70 in September 2018. In November 2018, Apple had 72 autonomous vehicles. Then Apple started to decrease the numbers. In April 2019, Apple had 69 cars, and by August of 2019, Apple had 66 cars.

While Apple has increased the number of cars on the road, it is still far behind other brands like Cruise and Waymo which have 201 and 365 cars on the road, respectively.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.