Apple looms large in self-driving car push

|About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)|By:, SA News Editor

There are more details out on Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) self-driving car program.

Included in documents released by the California Department of Motor Vehicles to Reuters are training plans for "operators" to take back control of a self-driving car and signs of an Apple development platform that can "capture and store relevant data" before a collision occurs.

Business Insider's Kif Leswing posted full details on the seven tests that an Apple driver must pass to operate the Lexus RX450h SUVs on public roads in California. During the initial phase of autonomous testing, Apple is using employees heavy in robotics experience.

Nothing in the released documents confirm if Apple aims to build a car from scratch or create a self-driving platform to be used by a partner manufacturer, although Gene Munster believes it is the latter.

"In reality, the complexity of designing and manufacturing a vehicle may push the company to integrate deeply with an automotive partner or partners in an effort more similar to the Apple TV -- plugging Apple's technology into an existing product," the well-known analyst wrote earlier this week.

The list of companies already off and running with self-driving programs includes General Motors (NYSE:GM), Ford (NYSE:F), Mercedes-Benz (OTCPK:DDAIF), Toyota (NYSE:TM), Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), Uber (Private:UBER), BMW (OTCPK:BMWYY) and Google (GOOG, GOOGL). Somewhere in the mix may be a disruptive Apple partnership or two.