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Report: Apple met California’s motor department to discuss ‘autonomous’ car

Apple Car rumours have been flying for an age, but evidence of an autonomous motor is seriously mounting.

A new report suggests Apple executives have “discussed their plans” for a self-driving car with California’s department of motor vehicles.

That’s according to the Guardian, which claims it has access to documents relating to the matter.

Those documents reveal that Mike Maletic, a senior legal counsel at Apple, had an “hour-long meeting” with Bernard Soriano, DMV deputy director, and Stephanie Dougherty, chief of strategic planning, on August 17.

Those individuals are the DMV’s self-driving car experts, and co-sponsors of California’s autonomous vehicle regulation project.

Also alleged to have attended the meeting is Brian Soublet, deputy director and chief counsel of the DMV.

According to the report, the DMV did not disclose what was discussed at the meeting, only saying: “The Apple meeting was to review [the] DMV’s autonomous vehicle regulations.”

We already know that California’s DMV is currently working on regulations to control the eventual public rollout of self-driving vehicles.

Such regulations will need to be adhered to by car manufacturers, otherwise the vehicles won’t be allowed to operate on California’s roads.

Related: Apple Car: The biggest challenges Apple faces

Unfortunately for Apple, self-driving car testing is a very public process, which means the company may have to forego its penchant for secrecy.

If you want to apply for autonomous vehicle testing in California, you need to provide the DMV with the make, model, and ID number of your car.

Other details that would be publicised include features and capabilities of the car, and the names of the test driver(s).

However, Apple could potentially test its cars at a private location.

Previous reports suggest Apple was considering utilising a disused San Francisco military base to that end.

The report states that Apple declined to comment on the story.

Do you think Apple is working an autonomous car? Let us know in the comments.

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