The world’s biggest company by market capitalization has now ventured into the possibility of creating self-driving cars.
Apple Inc.’s highly speculated plan of tinkering with what could be branded as an “iCar” became substantiated with the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) approval for the company’s proposed experiment. The technology giant chose the state to test the autonomous vehicles, which could be the next big thing since it announced the release of the iPhone.
On April 14, the state DMV included Apple to its list of 29 companies that seek to incorporate the self-driving technology into vehicles. It joins fellow tech companies, Google and Tesla, in exploring a new market for maintaining growth.
The permit for Apple covers three 2015 Lexus RX450h vehicles for six drivers, according to a DMV spokeswoman. The company refused to confirm if it will test the cars on public roads, although the permit serves more than enough proof that it wants to get a slice of a foreseeable robust market in the coming years.
Apple’s pursuit of possibly entering the vehicle business represented a diversification strategy since analysts believe the market will be a multibillion-dollar business in the future. The Boston Consulting Group estimated that the industry might soon be worth $42 billion per year by 2025 when as much as 12 million self-driving cars will roam the streets.
A test permit for experimenting with autonomous vehicles in California isn’t something entirely groundbreaking. The approval puts Apple as the 30th company that looks to develop the technology.
Still, even as many Silicon Valley companies have gone first, the secrecy of the project makes it even more intriguing. Dubbed “Project Titan,” it formed a separate unit comprising 1,000 employees solely for the task.
Self-driving vehicles have only been a remote possibility in previous years, yet it has now gained quite a large following among many companies. Are you willing to sit back in a car that will do the driving for you?