Apple’s car project may be the most closely guarded in the automotive industry. The company has been working on Project Titan for many years, it was reportedly nearly scrapped at one point, but it is now back on track and has reportedly moved forward with hiring more test drivers.
The report comes from macReports, which contacted the California DMV and obtained public records of autonomous vehicle testing. Every driver involved in the testing of autonomous technology in California must be registered. Every vehicle used in testing must also be registered with the DMV and have a special permit to drive on public roads. From the report, Apple increased the number of test drivers to 201 while its fleet of test vehicles remains at 67.
It is clear that Project Titan evolved over time into three distinct programs: autonomous driving technology, Apple CarPlay, which essentially becomes an operating system for any vehicle, and the Apple car itself.
So far in the autonomous driving segment, Apple has only recorded one minor collision, the car bumped into the curb and damaged the wheel. It happened while it was in manual mode, implying that human error was to blame. The company has reported 16 collisions since it began testing autonomous technology. Waymo has reported 227 collisions so far, and Cruise is not far behind with 203 reported collisions. It has to be said though, that Apple still hasn’t applied for the driverless permit and test drivers are always behind the wheel of test vehicles.