Besides a foldable device, Apple has also been secretly working on a car project for years now, but there has not been much public information about it. However, recent records submitted by Apple to a California agency show that they significantly increased testing of their self-driving technology in 2023. It reveals that the company tested almost four times more miles on public roads compared to 2022 and more than thirty times compared to 2021.
The report reveals the testing data covered between December 2022 and November 2023, with most testing done in the second half of that period. In August 2023, Apple reached the highest number of testing miles, totaling 83,900.
For these tests on California roads, Apple has a permit that requires a safety driver to be in the car. This safety driver helps collect data and assess how Apple’s self-driving software performs in traffic. The report also reveals data about other companies, including Alphabet’s Waymo and Amazon’s Zoox, which, unlike Apple, have permission to test without a safety driver.
Apple’s testing numbers are lower than these other advanced self-driving developers, but comparing them directly is challenging due to different reporting guidelines.
This news comes days after Apple reportedly scratched its plans to release a car with advanced self-driving features for highways that could also drive itself anywhere by 2026 and now aims to develop a car with more basic driver assistance features by 2028 at the earliest.
Unfortunately, we still have no information about what the car will look like or the features it will pack. But we expect more details about the car to surface online as we inch closer to its tentative launch timeline.