One rumor surfaced not too long ago, but continued to pop up on a regular basis, was that Apple was hard at work on building an actual car.
That rumor saw itself evolve through several months, before it eventually petered out. Now it seems like Apple is putting its focus on the machine learning and artificial intelligence, and developing that for systems that will be used inside of cars. Or at least that’s what the rumor mill had landed on awhile back.
Now Business Insider reports that Apple has officially registered with the state of California to test self-driving cars in its border. The report details that Apple’s name is one of many companies that were added to the Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permits list that’s available on the California Department of Motor Vehicles website today. This is the first time that Apple’s name has appeared on that list.
As for what this means moving forward, it doesn’t necessarily confirm that Apple is still working on a car of its own, but it does at least suggest that Apple is moving forward with testing when it comes to self-driving cars. That could easily learn more towards software, rather than a push into hardware, too.
Update: According to a followup report from Bloomberg, Apple plans do involve software. Apple’s move here in California is meant to help test its self-driving software platform on public roads. The permit covers only existing cars, including the Lexus RX450h SUV lineup.
Still, exciting times to see what Apple might have up its sleeve for the future.
[via Business Insider]