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Apple’s self-driving car project now has a permit in California

The Apple Car is alive — whatever it is.

Tim Cook’s “Carpool Karaoke”
Tim Cook’s “Carpool Karaoke”
Screenshot / YouTube

Apple has received a permit to test self-driving cars in California, according to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles website. It joins other tech companies, such as Google, Uber, Baidu and Nvidia — plus the usual carmakers, including Tesla — on the list.

This suggests Apple’s ambitions in the auto industry are alive, despite some reported upheaval in the project, code-named “Project Titan.”

Reports last year centered on changing leadership and shifting focus within the project, which is under the command of veteran Apple executive Bob Mansfield.

Still, as Apple looks for its next major growth driver after the iPhone — and as cars increasingly become computers — it’s easy to see why the company would be interested.

Apple, famously secretive about future products, hasn’t formally announced any plans to design or build a car or a self-driving software system. (Its permit covers three Lexus RX450h automobiles from 2015, and six drivers, according to the FT.)

But it has hinted at its interest for some time. “The car is the ultimate mobile device,” Apple Senior Vice President Jeff Williams said at our Code Conference in 2015.

Apple also wrote a letter to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last November, commenting on its proposed automated-vehicles policy, saying it’s “excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation” and that “new entrants should be treated equally” for testing on public roads.

This article originally appeared on

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