Regularly, operators of vehicles without driver must report to the equivalent of our California Department of Transport the various advances of their experiments. The latest information, shared by macReports, give a precise overview of the current state of affairs of the various manufacturers working on this technology.
We learn in particular that with six hundred and ninety cars on the road, Waymo seems the most prolific manufacturer of the moment. What’s more, more than a thousand different drivers work at the Alphabet subsidiary. A record for the Golden State, far ahead of Cruise (two hundred and three vehicles) or Zoox (eighty-five units). In fourth position, we find Apple (sixty-nine cars), and not far Toyota, which also operates its machines in the same region.
If the number of Apple Cars on the asphalt has not changed compared to last August (+1 since May), the number of professionals responsible for directing them in the event of an error has indeed changed with twenty – three more people than in September, bringing their total number to one hundred and thirty-seven. The story does not say whether they are contractors or employees, but it is unlikely that Apple will outsource this task given the risks involved. We do not remember all too well the leaks of the design of MacBook Pro with notch, due to a supplier whose data was poorly secured and ended up being hacked.
The very advertisements to hire these drivers are probably under the radar. It is indeed not uncommon to see here and there the qualifications required for positions at Apple corresponding to sectors where the firm could interfere, but the question of autonomous cars seems all there is more sensitive.
No autonomous Apple Car at the moment?
Anyway, Apple’s tests may not be ready yet. This is because the company is not on the list of companies authorized to run fully autonomous machines in California. Only Waymo, Nuro, Autox Tehcnologies, Zoox, Cruise, WeRide, Pony.AI and the American subsidiary of Baidu have indeed submitted a file which has been accepted by the authorities. With Google still in pole position, thanks to thirty-four driverless four-engined aircraft in operation.
Finally, the last figure which proves that the Cupertino system is not yet perfect: six collisions have taken place since September. Against over a hundred for Waymo and Cruise. But of course, all these characteristics do not take into account possible evaluations in other regions …