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.
Google's autonomous driving spinoff, Waymo, has developed sensors that pair with its self-driving software, potentially opening the door for the company to sell a comprehensive system that automakers build into future car models. Google initially built its self-driving software on a prototype car outfitted with sensors, cameras and other hardware from outside suppliers. But to build a more affordable and sophisticated system capable of fully autonomous driving, the company decided it needed to create both halves of the technology, executives said. The announcement comes just weeks after Japanese automaker Honda said it would incorporate Waymo's technology into some of its vehicles. The companies said that deal was centered on research rather than producing vehicles for market, Bloomberg News reported.
An Uber driver sits in his car near San Francisco International Airport on July 15, 2015. Uber and Volvo will invest a combined 300 million into a joint project to develop self-driving vehicles, the companies announced Thursday. In a statement, the companies said they will equip base vehicles with autonomous driving technology, ultimately moving toward manufacturing self-driving vehicles. Volvo will make the vehicles, while Uber purchases those vehicles and implement its own self-driving tech. "Over one million people die in car accidents every year," said Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in a statement.
Washington, DC (CNN Business)Tesla is selling its cars with the option of "full self-driving capability," a feature that's drawing criticism from experts on self-driving technology. They say CEO Elon Musk is playing fast and loose with definitions, overselling the technology and potentially creating safety issues. When Tesla announced the $35,000 Model 3 Thursday, it said it would come with an optional $5,000 feature: full self-driving capability. The system will offer "automatic driving on city streets" as an update later this year, according to Tesla's website. A Tesla spokeswoman declined to comment on details around the automatic driving option, and pointed CNN Business to fine print on Tesla's order page that tells buyers the currently enabled features require "active" driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.
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.