Apple Car could arrive sooner as Apple holds talks with California officials over testing

BY Killian Bell

Published 18 Sep 2015

image Apple Car artist concept

Apple’s first self-driving car could arrive earlier than anticipated after the Cupertino company discussed plans to begin public testing with California officials. Apple executives have reportedly held talks with the DMV’s autonomous automobile experts.

Last month, The Guardian reported that Apple had begun testing its self-driving car, dubbed Project Titan, at a secret test site in San Francisco. Now the same paper reveals that Mike Maletic, a senior legal counsel at Apple, held an hour-long meeting with the DMV on August 17.

That meeting is said to have taken place with the department’s self-driving car experts Bernard Soriano, DMV deputy director, and Stephanie Dougherty, chief of strategic planning. Brian Soublet, the department’s deputy director and chief counsel, was also present, according to the report.

“The department would not comment on what was discussed at the August meeting, beyond saying that “the Apple meeting was to review [the] DMV’s autonomous vehicle regulations”,” reports The Guardian.

It’s thought the reason for the meeting was to discuss the possibility of testing Apple’s new car on public roads. This could reveal some of Apple’s biggest secrets, but it’s a necessary step for an autonomous vehicle before it makes its way to market.

To begin testing on public roads, Apple would have to supply the DMV with the make, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN) of the cars it wishes to test, and provide details on the car’s capabilities and features.

Apple would also have to provide drivers’ names, and describe how those drivers are prepared to deal with any malfunctions that may occur when the vehicle is on public roads.

Of course, Apple could test its technology inside existing vehicles, which would prevent Project Titan from being exposed prematurely. But at some point, a near-final version of the car will need to be tested before it goes on sale.