Perhaps self-driving technology was what Apple CEO Tim Cook meant by “future stuff.”
On Friday of last week, Apple secured a self-driving road test permit from the California DMV. The new permit will reportedly allow Apple to test the technology in three Lexus RX 450h models, a luxury hybrid SUV.
The permit is the first direct indication of movement in the tech giant’s play to create autonomous vehicle technology. Apple has been tight-lipped about its car-based project, code-named “Project Titan,” since rumors and reports of its existence began to surface in 2015.
Last October, Cook told investors, “We are always looking at new things, and the car space, in general, is an area that it’s clear that there are a lot of technologies that will either become available or will be able to revolutionize the car experience.”
The self-driving tech space isn’t seeing any shortage of contenders. Apple now joins 29 other automotive and tech companies who have received test permits in California for self-driving technology.
While questions still remain as to the particulars, like whether or not Apple will create its own car, Forbes noted that the tech giant is more likely to stay on the software, sensor and services side of the self-driving space.
As the consumer and financial world learns more of its connected car future, tech and automotive companies are forming new partnerships and upping investments to secure their share of projected revenue.
Research from McKinsey projects that new services — including on-demand mobility services and data-driven services like connected car applications, software and remote services — could create up to $1.5 trillion in additional revenue potential in the automotive industry by 2030. Naturally, everyone wants a piece.
Investments in the connected car space run the gamut from funding the technologies and in-car hardware and user-facing display software to creating the data centers, back-end systems and connections that will enable the connected car future to run smoothly.