Apple’s self-driving cars have been spotted in the wild for the first time, giving fans an early peek at the tech that could change roads forever.
The California DMV issued a permit to Apple earlier this month allowing it to test its self-driving cars on public roads. Apple is only registered to drive three Lexus cars around Silicon Valley, but the company is wasting no time in its efforts to catch up to the competition.
It appears that Apple is using sensors and other equipment bought off the shelf from other suppliers. In the photos obtained by Bloomberg, you can see that the sensor array is distinctly different than those used by Apple for its mapping vans.
According to the source of the photos, Apple equipped the car with Velodyne Lidar Inc.’s top-end 64-channel lidar sensor. There are two radar sensors and a couple of cameras.
Although Apple hasn’t publicly announced its automotive ambitions, rumors have claimed the company is developing a software platform for self-driving cars. The company also allegedly planned to build its own car, but the project was scaled back to focus on software first.