Apple puts the brakes on some self-driving car tests in California

Throughout the course of 2018, Apple’s filings with the California DMV showed a steady increase in the number of self-driving cars it had on the road. This month, however, Apple has reported its first ever drop in autonomous cars.

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As first noted by macReports, Apple now has 69 autonomous cars permitted to test on public roads in California. The company also has 110 drivers eligible to operate those cars. Both of those numbers are down from last month, when Apple reported 72 cars on the road and 144 drivers.

For comparison’s sake, here’s how Apple’s numbers stack up to the competition:

  1. GM Cruise: 163 vehicles and 989 drivers
  2. Waymo: 125 vehicles and 368 drivers
  3. Apple: 69 vehicles and 110 drivers
  4. Tesla: 47 vehicles and 136 drivers

In February, Apple filed a self-driving car disengagement report with the California DMV. This filing indicated that Apple logged 871.65 disengagements per 1,000 miles, making for 1.1 miles per disengagement. Following that report, Apple published a brief overview of its “approach to autonomous driving system safety,” explaining that its goal is to use autonomy to make “products and services smarter, more intuitive, and more personalized.”

Apple made a series of cuts to its Project Titan team earlier this year, dismissing over 200 staff members from the project. The company did, however, hire Tesla’s head of electric powertrains as part of its electric car efforts. A separate report indicated that Apple’s car plans are currently focused on an electric van and battery research. A report last year indicated that Apple had reached a self-driving van deal with Volkswagen for its employee shuttles.

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