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Saturday, April 15, 2017
Apple to Road Test Self-Driving Car Software


Apple will soon take its self-driving car software platform to public streets for the first time, by using existing Lexus SUVs.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles granted clearance for trials of the autonomous driving technology on public roads, according to a notice on the DMV's website on Friday. This is the first time Apple has received approval for such testing.

The self-driving car platform is designed so that Apple could choose to open it up to existing carmakers or eventually port it to an Apple-designed vehicle.

The software tests will start soon with existing vehicles.

Apple started designing a self-driving car to take on Google and Tesla a few years ago before it pulled back and focused on first developing underlying autonomous technology last year.

Subject to standard regulations for testing autonomous technology on public roads, Apple's test cars will have a person behind the wheel to monitor the testing. The California permit covers three 2015 Lexus RX450h SUVs, and six drivers, the DMV said. Alphabet's Waymo and Uber Technologies's self-driving test cars also have people behind the wheel during tests.



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