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Apple Car finally spotted in the wild? New photos leaked

A car using driverless technology built by Apple has been snapped driving around California, according to a new report.

Bloomberg has published an article showcasing photos of a Lexus RX450h SUV being driven on Californian roads. The report details how a person saw the vehicle emerge from an Apple facility, captured images of the SUV, and then sent the photos to Bloomberg HQ.

The images come just days after Apple received a permit to test autonomous vehicles on California roads, confirming that – despite rumours to the contrary – the company hasn’t given up on its driverless car ambitions.

apple carImage credit: Bloomberg

The documents filed by Apple were acquired by Business Insider, and revealed how Apple would be using six drivers to test out three Lexus RX 450h SUVs.

That’s the same model of car revealed in Bloomberg’s report, albeit one kitted out with an array of sensors, including Velodyne Lidar Inc.s 64-channel lidar, as well as two radars and a number of cameras. Importantly, as Bloomberg notes, these sensors appear to have been bought from third-party manufacturers, rather than custom-built by Apple itself.

apple carImage credit: Bloomberg

So what does this mean for the long-rumoured Apple Car? Details of a mysterious vehicle being built at Apple HQ under the codename ‘Project Titan’ have been circulating for years, but latest rumours suggest the project has been scaled back. While Apple’s early ambitions reportedly centred on building an entire vehicle, Project Titan is said to be much more streamlined now.

Apparently, the main focus for the time being is to develop working autonomous driving software. Pending the success of this project, there’s still a chance that Apple could move back into entire-car development.

apple carImage credit: Bloomberg

We’ve asked Apple for comment and will update this article with any response.

Related: iPhone 8

What would you like to see from an Apple Car? Let us know in the comments.

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