Apple’s self-driving car fleet lags behind Waymo and GM

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Apple Car
Apple's Lexus is decked out in sensors.
Photo: Bloomberg

Apple’s fleet of self-driving cars is expanding at an astonishing pace after starting with just three vehicles a year ago.

New records posted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles reveals that Apple currently has the third largest number of autonomous cars in the state, but it’s closing the gap on the Google’s self-driving car project that holds the number two spot.

Apple now has 70 self-driving cars on the road, adding 15 new vehicles since May when it momentarily eclipsed the number Waymo had on the streets. Google’s project has since increased its number to 88 vehicles. Meanwhile, GM Cruise has an astonishing 175 vehicles on the road with and 467 drivers.

Only 139 drivers are currently approved to get behind the wheel of Apple’s test vehicles. That could be one of the reasons holding the company back from expanding as rapidly as Google did in recent months. Despite only having 88 vehicles, Waymo has 415 drivers registered to drive the cars. Tesla has the fourth largest fleet with 39 Vehicles and 92 drivers.

Rumors surrounding Apple’s car project have started to rev up the last few months. After hitting some speed bumps the first few years of its inception, the company allegedly is back to planning to make an entire car. Plans currently call for the car to hit the streets in 2023 to 2025.

Don’t start saving your money quite yet for an Apple car though. Previous reports have claimed Apple is focusing solely on making the self-driving platform for vehicles. Apple CEO Tim Cook has called self-driving cars the mother of all AI problems but hasn’t commented further on Apple’s automotive ambitions.