It has been confirmed by the Department of Motor Vehicles in California that ever since Apple received a permit to test self-driving cars on public roads in the state, the size of its fleet has gradually grown from 27 in January this year to 55 in May. All Apple's vehicles are being tested with a safety driver inside. However, in the meantime it continues to grow its fleet of self-driving test cars - which are now the second largest in the state of California.
UPDATE: Apple has the second highest number of self driving cars after GM Cruise, which as 104 vehicles, as of now. That gives it the second-largest fleet in the U.S., ahead of Waymo's 51 cars, but still well behind GM Cruise, which boasts 104. That puts it four cars ahead of the latest figures we have for Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving auto division thought to be among the leaders in the sector.
Apple's autonomous vehicle program is one of the biggest known secrets in the tech industry.
Many automaker and ride-hailing giants are in the race, however, Tesla which now has 39 self-driving vehicles and Uber which has 29 cars.
Behind Apple lags Waymo, which has 51 vehicles registered in California, and Tesla, which has 39 vehicles. Waymo, for instance, has hundreds of autonomous vehicles being tested in Arizona. It does not appear on the May 9 list seen by Business Insider.
Apple's quickly growing fleet of cars suggests that it's certainly taking self-driving development seriously. "It's probably one of the most hard AI projects actually to work on".
Each participant in this self-driving auto race must have a safety driver in the vehicle during testing.