Apple has officially joined the race to design self-driving cars.

The company’s late entry into a fiercely competitive field was formalised on Friday.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles awarded a permit for Apple to test its self-driving technology on public roads in the state.

The permit covers three vehicles – all 2015 Lexus RX 450h hybrid SUVs – and six individual drivers.

California law currently requires people to be in a self-driving car, so they can take control if something goes wrong.

Apple’s interest in autonomous vehicle technology has long been clear.

Like others, Apple believes self-driving cars could ease congestion and save thousands of people who die annually in traffic accidents.

Apple will be vying against 29 other companies that already have California permits to test self-driving cars.

The list includes major automakers, including Ford, General Motors, BMW, Volkswagen and Tesla, as well as tech firm Google.

http://ooyala.news.sky.com/xnMDg4YTE6NHPbGCDmFcXv3W2midjWFf/DOcJ-FxaFrRg4gtDEwOjNhMzowODE7ex
(c) Sky News 2017: Apple joins race to design self-driving cars


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