Apple has been interested in automotive technology for a long time -- the company already has the CarPlay infotainment system. But now it is moving further into the automotive industry and is working on its own self-driving technology. Apple was granted a permit to test its self-driving technology in California earlier this month. The state released 41 pages of application documents to Business Insider because of a request to access public records. While the company has not made a formal acknowledgement of the information mentioned in the documents, a lot of light has been shed on what the company plans to do in terms of its self-driving program.
Self-driving cars clearly stand to benefit from sharing data -- you want your car to know about traffic jams before you're stuck in gridlock. The tech giant is partnering with Here on a next-gen communications hub for nearly or completely autonomous cars. Here's location info will help LG share a car's situational awareness with other vehicles, giving you customized driving info and (potentially) smarter decisions. If there's a road ahead with mercifully light traffic, for instance, your car might turn on to it to avoid delays.
Uber had the lead on ride-hailing and self-driving cars for a while, but it's encountered some roadblocks. Now Lyft is jumping in, with the announcement that the U.S. ride-hailing company will develop its own self-driving technology at a facility in Silicon Valley. "We believe Lyft is in the best position to demonstrate what a great overall user experience can be. Lyft is also uniquely positioned to build technology in collaboration with partners in a way that makes it possible to roll out self-driving cars at scale in the fastest, safest, most efficient way," Lyft Vice President of Engineering Luc Vincent wrote in a Medium post announcing Lyft's plans. Lyft earlier this year introduced an open self-driving platform that allowed car manufacturers and self-driving systems to sync with Lyft's network.
Self-driving might currently be in testing stage, but the technology is expected to become mainstream soon. A new study by the Boston Consulting Group, published Monday, says that 25 percent of the U.S. market will belong to self-driven cars by 2035. "After a comprehensive analysis of the findings of the study, BCG expects that partially autonomous vehicles will hit the road in large numbers by 2017, with the biggest growth coming in the next two decades. Mass adoption of self-driving technology will result in tremendous economic and societal benefits, and with it, far-reaching implications for automotive companies and other players in the value chain," the study states. The self-driving electric vehicles on the roads will belong not only to individual owners, but also to shared fleets of self-driving cars operated by services such as Uber, according to TechCrunch.