The Production of the Apple Car is Approaching Gradually.

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The Apple Car is inching towards production

Apple continues to make strides in the development of its highly anticipated autonomous vehicle, adding 17 additional drivers to its test program, according to a memo from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) dated January 5, 2024. The latest update brings the total number of registered drivers in Apple’s program to 162.

Maintaining a veil of secrecy around the project, Apple has refrained from officially announcing its foray into car development. Recent reports suggest that the company has expanded its fleet by two vehicles, bringing the total to 68. Despite the ongoing testing, the official debut of Apple’s car is not expected until 2026.

Currently, Apple is testing its autonomous vehicle software in existing vehicles, such as the Lexus RX, with a focus on human-operated test fleets. While there has been a recent reduction in drivers in July 2023, Apple’s testing fleet has otherwise remained relatively stable.

The Production of the Apple Car is Approaching Gradually.
The Production of the Apple Car is Approaching Gradually. (Credits: Electrek)

In comparison to other automotive companies, Apple’s testing program is relatively modest. As of January 5, 2024, California DMV records indicate that Mercedes-Benz is testing 49 vehicles with 226 drivers, Tesla has 14 vehicles with 59 drivers, Waymo’s driverless taxi service is testing 371 vehicles with 664 drivers, and General Motors subsidiary is testing 1,015 vehicles with 281 drivers.

Despite its discreet approach, Apple has made significant developments, not only increasing the number of personnel involved in testing but also filing a patent in the United States that provides insight into the potential interior layout of its forthcoming vehicle. The patent details a four-seat configuration, with the front seats capable of swiveling to transform the vehicle into a “mobile office” or “living room.” Additionally, the patent outlines an innovative airbag system designed to deploy from underneath the seats in the event of an accident.

While reports suggest that Apple’s car will debut at a price below $100,000, it will not be fully autonomous as initially envisioned. The vehicle is expected to use batteries sourced from Japan, not China, and will not be manufactured by Hyundai. Notably, Apple has recently brought on board Luigi Taraborrelli, a former engineer from Lamborghini, to contribute to the project.

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By Jayson O'Neil

Jayson is a car-o-holic, and you will often find him writing about cars & bikes here at DaxStreet. You can reach out to him at [email protected]

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