Apple more than doubles self-driving cars road tests in 2020February 10, 2021
The US-based company has begun to actively test self-driving cars in 2020 as its autonomous technology has improved, although it still lags far behind the competition as it ultimately aims to launch a consumer car.
According to a report filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the company’s vehicles traveled 30,264 km last year, up from 12,141 km in 2019. However, test kilometers in 2020 lag behind the nearly 128,747 kilometers that Apple said its vehicles drove in 2018.
Apple recently stepped up work on an autonomous electric vehicle to compete with Tesla Inc., General Motors, and others. The company employs hundreds of engineers working on a basic autonomous driving system, and part of its automotive team focuses on real-world consumer vehicles.
The company will likely not build the car for at least five years, although it has hired several former Tesla executives to work on a number of areas – a former Tesla executive was hired in 2020, and a former Tesla chief engineer was hired in 2018 Doug Field. Late last year, Apple appointed John Giannandrea, a machine learning project manager, to oversee the project.
Apple’s numbers continue to lag well behind the competition, making it clear that Apple is not yet close to launching a self-driving car.
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