Apple receives permit to test self-driving cars on California roads

According to reports, Mansfield and his team have until December 2017 to prove the viability of the Project Titan.

The company has kept mum about their plans regarding their movement toward the automotive industry, but has kept a trail of breadcrumbs for people to follow.

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Back in September of 2016, when it was still only rumored that Apple might be quietly working on a driverless vehicle project, the Inquisitr reported that it looked like Apple might be putting Project Titan on hold for the time being. The country's largest automaker by sales is testing more than 50 autonomous Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles on public roads in San Francisco, the Detroit metropolitan area and Scottsdale, Arizona. Other big brands who have been granted this permit are Google, Tesla and Ford. "At the time, it was seen as the strongest hint that Apple was still committed to self-driving technology". Apple is not the only company to have such permits in the state.

The permit covers three vehicles - all 2015 Lexus RX 450h hybrid SUVs - and six individual drivers. It now seems that Apple is working in partnership to develop technology with an established manufacturer of motor vehicles.

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With $246 billion in cash, Apple also could easily afford to buy technology that accelerates its development of self-driving cars. Under the state's testing regulations, all autonomous vehicles on the road will require a person behind the wheel to monitor testing. Many companies sign up for the permit, but report no miles driven.

Internally known as Project Titan, the project at one point was understood to have more than 1,000 employees working on it, though the current scale of Apple's efforts is unknown.

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The company reported $0.43 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.26 by $0.17. Meeder Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Marathon Petroleum Corp by 14.4% in the third quarter.

It was back in September that Apple reportedly "repositioned its focus", shifting from production of a fully autonomous auto to just the self-driving technology itself. But it does indicate that the company is developing the underlying software or hardware related to autonomous driving technology.

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