Apple Inc., the manufacturer of iPhone and other electronic devices, joined Friday more than a dozen companies to be allowed to test self-driving vehicles on public roads in California.
While the technology company headquartered in Cupertino, Northern California, did not comment on the latest development, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in the Golden State on the US West Coast listed Apple on its website as the latest one getting an Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permit.
As of Friday, the list includes 30 companies, with Volkswagen Group of America, Mercedes Benz, Google, Delphi Automotive and Tesla Motors as the earliest entities receiving the permit.
Other traditional automakers on the list were General Motors Cruise LLC and Ford of the United States; Nissan, Honda and Subaru of Japan; and BMW of Germany. Most other companies holding the testing permit are technology startups.
Long suspected of working on a self-driving vehicle project, Apple has never openly and directly discussed its interest in cars.
As the state DMV tries to establish a path for the testing and deployment of fully autonomous vehicles in California, the largest and most populous among the 50 states in America, proposed new regulations were published last March 10, to be followed by a public hearing scheduled for April 25 in the state capital of Sacramento.