macReports says that, for the first time in two years, Apple has reduced the size of its autonomous vehicle (AV) driving team.
Just last month, in March, Apple had 201 drivers licensed by the California DMV to pilot its self-driving test cars. macReports recently received numbers from the California DMV that say, as of April 28th, the number of drivers now sits at145.
All this involves the rumored Apple Car. At one time, it was anticipated it would be a totally self-driving vehicle. Now it’s believed those plans have been scaled back or abandoned for the first model, though Apple is likely eyeing such an automobile for the future.
When might we see an Apple Car?
I predict that a full self-driving Apple Car won’t roll out until 2027 or beyond. As for pricing, your average person likely won’t be able to afford the vehicle. According to Bloomberg, Apple’s consumer vehicle will start at “under US$100,000.” However, I expect that price to be barely under $100,000.
Other rumors said that Apple wanted its vehicle to come without a steering wheel or pedals, but has decided that such a plan isn’t feasible at this time. And I’ll be shocked if such an automobile is feasible by 2027.
Here’s a round-up of other rumors about the Apple Car:
° Apple currently plans to develop a vehicle that lets drivers conduct other tasks — say, watch a movie or play a game — on a freeway and be alerted with ample time to switch over to manual control if they reach city streets or encounter inclement weather.
° It will use the cloud for some AI processing.
° Apple might offer a remote command center that could assist drivers and control cars from afar during emergencies.
° Apple may also offer its own insurance program.
° Apple still hasn’t dialed in on a design for its first vehicle and the team is still working in a “pre-prototype” stage.