Apple increases number of self-driving test vehicles

In Apple’s first increase to their autonomous car fleet since August 2019, the company has increased its number of self-driving vehicles while decreasing the number of drivers licensed to drive those cars by almost half.

New photos of Apple’s autonomous vehicle (via The Last Driver License Holder)
September 2019 photo of Apple’s LiDAR-equipped autonomous vehicle (via The Last Driver License Holder)

Serhat Kurt for MacReports:

[In] August 2019… Apple was operating 66 vehicles. The number of Apple’s self-driving cars then remained the same (66 vehicles) since. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, as of today, Apple has 68 cars.

Apple’s self-driving cars reached a peak of 72 cars in November 2018.

In October of 2020, Apple had 154 drivers… Now, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Apple has 76 drivers for its autonomous fleet.

Cars/Drivers:
• Waymo: 365/871
• Cruise: 201/801
• Zoox: 49/158
• Nvidia: 15/196
• Apple: 68/76
• Tesla: 22/86

MacDailyNews Take: The better your vehicles drive autonomously, the fewer babysitters you need to mind them.

8 Comments

  1. Unless they have their own roads , autonomous vehicles will never ever be on open roads ever. There are too many situations that they’ll never be able to handle without human intervention

    1. Although I mostly agree with you, I have considered if a autonomous vehicle has a large enough database of situations to draw from, there would be much less chance of an accident. Even good drivers can make mistakes if they come across situations they’ve never been in before. Of course, the autonomous vehicle would need extremely good sensors. The more data Tesla collects, the better the vehicle response should be to various situations.

      In the case of the Tesla running into a flipped tractor trailer, it probably could have used a LIDAR scanner instead of just a camera. LIDAR would have detected it was approaching something solid in the road even if it wasn’t recognized. Musk doesn’t believe in LIDAR and I think he’s wrong in believing that.

      Another thing is the condition of the road itself. When road markings get worn away or signs get knocked down, that could prove disastrous for any autonomous vehicle. I can’t ever imagine a fully autonomous vehicle being used in a snowstorm. Whiteout conditions can fool the best of drivers who think they can still drive fast in such conditions. I wonder how autonomous vehicles handle potholes. Do they even see them?

  2. Here is an important question:
    Is it realistic for a self driving car to call for help over the internet? You might have a room full of people who sit in front of screens ready to take over when the cars get confused.

    Of course that won’t work for when the failure is the car failing to recognize an obstruction. A car that asks for human help one second before crashing into a wall is worse than useless.

  3. Custom silicon, software and vertical integration…. AAPL and TSLA are going to carve up the personal transportation market like AAPL and Google took over cellphones… first the ROKR and then iPhone. remember Motorola… remember Blackberry… remember Nokia… Palm Pilots… now think cars.

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