April 22, 2013: The world gets its first Apple car. Well, kind of.
In reality, the iBeetle is a collaboration with German automaker Volkswagen that offers a car “stylistically linked” to Apple. This means Apple-inspired colors, a built-in docking station for your iPhone, and a special app that lets you control the car’s features.
Only 23 of Apple’s registered self-driving cars were active between December 2018 and November 2019, according to data provided to California’s Department of Motor Vehicles. In total, Apple’s fleet of modified Lexus RX450h SUVs travelled 7,544 miles during the period.
That’s down from the 79,745 miles its vehicles travelled in the previous year.
Self-driving car startup Drive.ai is reportedly shutting down — and Apple is scooping up the talent.
Drive.ai, which made kits that turn regular cars into self-driving cars, notified the Employment Development Department of California that it was shutting down and laying off all 90 of its employees. Apple was reportedly looking into acquiring the company earlier this month. Instead, Cupertino decided to just hire some of its key employees.
One of Google’s top AI experts has left the company to join Apple’s special projects group.
Ian Goodfellow, who created an AI approach called general adversarial networks (GANs), was hired by Apple as a director of machine learning, adding another prominent Google AI expert to its growing team.
A whitepaper describing the elaborate safety procedures used in Apple’s automated car development program seems intended to assure government regulators and the public that the company is making every effort to prevent accidents.
As a bonus, the document gives some insight into the automated vehicle Apple is creating.
Apple’s autonomous car project is certainly exciting for Apple fans. It’s likely to be a while longer before the company is ready to officially launch what it’s been working on, however.
That’s according to a new “Disengagement Report” which covers the period December 2017 through November 2018. It refers to instances in which self-driving vehicles being tested on California roads had to pass control back to the human driver behind the wheel.