Apple is revving up its efforts to catch its competitors in the self-driving car market.
The company has aggressively expanded its fleet of vehicles used to test its autonomous driving systems, according to a new filing that shows the company added nine times as many cars over the last year.
California’s DMW first gave Apple approval to start driving its self-driving Lexus RX450h’s last summer. Only three vehicles were approved initially with six drivers, all of which are some of Apple’s top minds in AI.
Apple’s fleet is now comprised of 27 vehicles, per emails from the California DMV obtained by Bloomberg. All of the cars are still Lexus RX450h models with Apple’s custom array of sensors attached to the top.
The self-driving car project reportedly got the green light back in 2015. After initially setting out to build a new car from the wheels up, efforts have supposedly been scaled back to focus on creating just the autonomous driving system.
It’s unclear when or if any products from Apple’s research into self-driving cars will ever come out. Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed the company is looking into the area and that he sees it as the mother of all AI problems.