Apple Car is almost ready for public road tests

Apple Car is almost ready for public road tests

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Apple Car
Tim Cook allegedly plans to use the BMW i3's body for Apple Car.
Photo: BMW

Apple met with officials at California’s Department of Motor Vehicles to discuss plans to test its self-driving Apple Car on public roads, according to a new report.

What does this mean? Quite possibly that we’re set to get a glimpse of the Apple car a lot sooner than most people figured.

According to The Guardian, the fact that Apple is already taking meetings with California officials means that whatever vehicle Cupertino is working on is almost ready for public view. That’s because getting a license to user-test autonomous cars on the road almost certainly follows the period of internal testing Apple would carry out first.

If Apple applies for the necessary road permits, it will have to reveal the make, model and vehicle identification number of the cars it plans to test — as well as sharing details about the automobiles’ autonomous features and abilities, and naming any test drivers it plans to use.

Apple senior legal counsel Mike Maletic had an hour-long meeting with officials August 17, according to the new report. He discussed Apple’s plans with DMV’s deputy director Bernard Soriano, chief of strategic planning Stephanie Dougherty and chief counsel Brian Soublet.

The DMV hasn’t confirmed any details, with the exception of admitting that, “the Apple meeting was to review [the] DMV’s autonomous vehicle regulations.”

Today’s report additionally suggests that Apple has already named an engineering program manager for the so-called Project Titan. The newspaper notes that high-level engineering execs “generally arrive on an Apple project once a product is ready to leave the lab, and coordinate the work of teams of hardware and software engineers.”