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Apple To Test Autonomous Vehicles In California: Model Lexus RX450h SUV Ready For Self-Driving Test in Silicon Valley

by Alpha / Apr 29, 2017 07:39 PM EDT
Apple logo in Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.

As part of autonomous vehicle testing program, Apple's using a Lexus RX450h SUV as apparent by filed documents with the California DMV complying license regulations for self-driving tests in the state. Images have been captured while the vehicle was in driving mode at an Apple facility in Silicon Valley.

The SUV appears very close to the test cars used by Waymo, the former Google self-driving car company whose headquarters are also located in Apple's Cupertino Headquarters. The decorated equipment for SUV include optical cameras, LiDAR, and radar.

Apparently judging by the photo images and the information found in the DMV documents kept for the public as per public records request, in an autonomous technology program, Apple is very early compared to companies like Waymo and even Uber. The test vehicle does not have custom parts at this stage, and the company's emphasis is on software development primarily. Techcrunch reported.

It's already familiar that Apple had a formal self-driving test program and the vehicles in use by Apple for this purpose is also known, but after seeing the images of the SUV on the road, it's like getting a glance of an elusive and previously mythical white whale.

The sensors included Velodyne Lidar Inc.'s top-of-the-range 64-channel lidar, having at least two radar and a series of cameras. The sensors appear to be products bought off the shelf from supplies, replacing the custom-made, according to an industry expert who saw the photos. Applepost reported.

Cameras can be seen at the back, top, front and sides of the car. California's State Department of Motor Vehicles announced that Apple officially granted permission to test autonomous vehicles in the State. Apple joins a growing list of traditional carmakers, technology companies, and small start-ups to test drive cars in California. All companies are aiming to be the first company to introduce self-driving cars to the audience.

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