• Apple will begin testing self-driving car technology in California, its first public move into a highly competitive field that could radically change transportation. On Friday, the California Department of Motor Vehicles awarded the company a permit to test autonomous vehicles.

    Apple will begin testing self-driving car technology in California, its first public move into a highly competitive field that could radically change transportation. On Friday, the California Department of Motor Vehicles awarded the company a permit to test autonomous vehicles. (Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press)

    Apple will begin testing self-driving car technology in California, its first public move into a highly competitive field that could radically change transportation.

    The California Department of Motor Vehicles awarded Apple a permit to test autonomous vehicles Friday and disclosed that information on its website.

    A spokesman for the department said the permit will cover three vehicles — all 2015 Lexus RX 450h hybrid SUVs — and six individual drivers. The state requires a human behind the wheel during such testing.

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    Apple confirmed that it will begin testing self-driving technology in the state, but provided no details. It pointed to a December statement it provided to federal regulators that stated Apple is investing heavily in “machine learning and autonomous systems” and noted “many potential applications” for these technologies.

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