Less than a fortnight after it was confirmed that, indeed, Apple is testing out self-driving cars, it appears we have our first look at what the iPhone maker is taking on the road.
A white Lexus RX450h SUV was spotted leaving an Apple facility in Silicon Valley, sporting sensors, cameras, and other gear used in autonomous driving research, as seen by a person who sent the the information and images to Bloomberg (opens in new tab).
The report adds the Lexus is rigged with third-party sensors, including a Velodyne LIDAR unit. It appears no proprietary or custom-made equipment was on the car, and you can see it for yourself in the footage below:
Here's the car that #Apple's using to test its autonomous car technology. Story with @mhbergen. https://t.co/jHLnJDRjoS pic.twitter.com/zTezUmcZwCApril 27, 2017
Of course, Apple loves to keep its projects in the darkest of dark until its time for an official unveiling (see also: Apple's supposed interest in VR) so there's no telling if Apple is planning to get into the automotive game or just make its own self-driving software for other manufacturers.
Apple isn't the only company cleared to test self-driving cars in California. Companies ranging from the usual suspects like Ford, Honda, BMW, Nissan, and Mercedes-Benz to newcomers like Tesla, Google, Faraday Future and Nvidia have also received their autonomous-driver permits, making the race to driverless driving a rapidly growing one.
- Before the iCar, Apple will have to finish work on the iPhone 8