Apple receives permit to test self-driving cars on California roads

Apple joins a growing list of traditional carmakers, technology companies, and small start ups to test drive cars in California - all vying to be the first to bring self-driving cars to the masses.

This permit could indicate the resurgence of Apple's self-driving auto program, codenamed Project Titan.

Like those other companies, Apple's test vehicles will have human drivers behind the wheel when they go out on public roads, according to Bloomberg News.

Thanks to an update from the California Department of Motor Vehicles Friday, we now know one thing for sure: Apple has a permit to test autonomous cars in the state. In that letter, Apple said it felt "new entrants" into testing on public roads "should be treated equally".

'Project Titan, ' as Apple called its autonomous vehicle program, had an ambitious plan to compete with the likes of Google, Tesla and others as Silicon Valley tech companies sought to disrupt the auto industry.

Apple declined to comment on the report but referred to a statement the company made past year after it wrote a letter [PDF] to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the agency's proposed policy for driverless vehicles.

Kenner also said Apple supports various methods of crash simulations and cybersecurity and safety analysis.

"We've provided comments to NHTSA because Apple is investing heavily in machine learning and autonomous systems", the statement read.

The permit was revealed with Apple's appearance on a list of approved companies on the state automotive regulator's website yesterday.

Apple declined to comment, referring to public remarks that it had submitted to federal highway authorities in November on its research into automation.

Apple is now employing the use of machine learning to make its products and services smarter, and as a result, more intuitive.

Apple, the report (and another from The New York Times) suggested, underestimated the complexity of the project and sought to scrap its transportation ambitions. This means that Apple's self-driving initiative, codenamed Project Titan, is back on track.

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