According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website, Apple is now permitted to test self-driving cars in the state.
Apple is now the 30th tech company with such rights. They join other big-name tech firms like Google and Tesla, as well as more traditional automakers like Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz, Nissan, GM, BMW, Honda, Ford and Subaru.
Though Apple never formally announced plans to build an autonomous vehicle (AV), there has been much speculation about the tech giant getting into the driverless game.
For starters, former Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak said two years ago that a self-driving “automobile makes a lot of sense for a company like Apple,” adding that “Tesla has set an example that a new car company can come, not out of Detroit, but out of Silicon Valley. Just the price of cars make me think Apple should work on it.”
Then later that year, in September 2015, the California DMV admitted to having met with Apple officials about the state's rules for testing autonomous vehicles on public streets. And this past December, the company penned a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation acknowledging its interest in AV technology.
Like all permit-holders, Apple must report accidents within 10 business days, and submit annual reports that document self-driving tech failures, including disengagements, which is when when a human driver takes over.