Apple’s self-driving car fleet gets downsized

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Project Titan
Apple is invested heavily in self-driving tech.
Photo: Idiggapple/Twitter

Apple’s fleet of self-driving cars has gotten smaller for the first time since the project’s inception.

In a recent filing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Apple revealed that both its number of cars and drivers permitted to test them have decreased since that company’s last report at the end of 2018.

Apple currently has 69 autonomous cars in operation, a small drop from the 72 cars it used to have. The biggest drop though is in the number of drivers, which have decreased from 144 to 110 drivers.

Even though it lost some vehicles, Apple still has the third largest autonomous vehicle fleet. GM’s fleet is the largest with 163 cars and 989 drivers. Waymo has the second largest with 125 vehicles and 368 drivers, while Tesla’s comes in fourth with only 47 vehicles and 136 drivers.

The reduction in Apple’s fleet can probably be attributed to maintenance issues rather than that company exiting the self-driving car game. It’s still unclear what Apple’s ultimate goal is with self-driving cars. Rumors surrounding Project Titan originally claimed the company was trying to make its own car from the ground up. Now those ambitions have supposedly shifted toward just making the underlying foundation for self-driving vehicles.

Recently we’ve learned that Apple wants to bring a revolutionary redesign to Lidar sensors. The company is seeking to make units that are smaller, cheaper and more easily mass-produced than those currently available. In true Apple fashion, it also wants the sensors to look good on a vehicle.