Apple Adds 23 More Drivers to its Autonomous Vehicle Fleet; Still no Driverless Permits; Crash Reports

We have the latest numbers from all the major manufacturers of autonomous vehicle technology in California. Since our last report in September, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ latest data, we have seen many of the manufacturers increase both the size of their autonomous fleet, and the size of their driving team. Apple has increased their number of driver permits by 23, and so are now up to 137. Apple’s number of self-driving cars, however, has stayed the same at 69 vehicles. Over the past several months, Apple’s program has had:

The latest numbers for all of the manufacturers follow, along with the changes since our September report. We also let you know about the changes to the driverless programs for the major players and update you on how many collisions have been reported for each of the manufacturers.

There are many manufacturers racing to develop their autonomous vehicle programs. Self-driving technology is big, and although most of us don’t yet have a car that can drive itself, many of the cars being sold today are full of autonomous vehicle technology. These features are labeled Driver Assistance Technologies; These technologies all provide ways in which your car can either warn you or even take control to help prevent accidents and include:

  • Collision warning systems – like rear cross traffic warning beeps so you can safely back out at a grocery store. This category also includes forward collision warning – which gets you to pay attention and brake when you get too close to the car in front of you, and lane departure and blind spot warning light on your side mirrors.
  • Collision intervention systems – applies the brakes for you, so you don’t hit another car or a pedestrian. This category also includes blind spot intervention, which can brake or take control of steering if there is a vehicle detected during a lane change.
  • Driving control assistance – like adaptive cruise control which slows you down automatically as you approach another vehicle on the highway, and lane centering and lane keeping assistance technologies.

The Changes to Fleet and Driver Team Sizes

Many of the manufacturers have had significant changes in their drivered autonomous vehicle program since we last reported.

  • Mercedes Benz has added 5 more drivers, but has also made a significant increase (relative to their program size) to their fleet size by 8 vehicles, for a total of 27.
  • Waymo (Google), with the largest program by far, has added 91 more drivers, increasing from 1537 to 1628. They have also added 74 new vehicles to their fleet, for a total of 690.
  • No change to Tesla’s program numbers.
  • Cruise (GM) has also added many more drivers, and a couple more cars. Their number of drivers is at 992, up from 925, while their fleet size increased from 201 to 203.
  • Zoox (Amazon) has also significantly increased their numbers: Drivers now at 315, from 247; Vehicles are at 85, up from 74.
  • Nvidia has boosted its driver team to 220, up from 207, but kept its vehicle numbers the same.
  • Apple, while not increasing its fleet size, has increased their number of driver permits by 23 and so are now up to 137.
  • Pony has added 4 more drivers, and 1 more vehicle to its fleet.
  • Lyft’s and Toyota’s numbers remain unchanged since our September report.

The most recent fleet volumes from the California DMV, as of November 5, 2021:

Manufacturer NameDriversVehicles
MERC BENZ8327
WAYMO LLC1628690
TESLA8622
CRUISE LLC992203
ZOOX INC31585
NVIDIA CORPORATION22018
APPLE INC13769
PONY.AI6240
LYFT, INC7130
TOYOTA RESEARCH INSTITUTE3534

Driverless Vehicle Programs

While Apple still hasn’t applied for a driverless vehicle permit, there are eight major manufacturers who have. Since our last report, no new players have entered the driverless game, and for the most part, fleet sizes have remained unchanged – with one major exception. Cruise has jumped its driverless fleet size from 5 to 20. Cruise now has the second largest driverless fleet size behind Waymo.

ManufacturerDriverless Vehicles
WAYMO LLC34
NURO, INC18
AUTOX TECHNOLOGIES INC1
ZOOX, INC2
CRUISE LLC20
BAIDU USA LLC3
WERIDE CORP2
PONY.AI, INC10

Driverless Deployment

Previously only Nuro had a permit that allowed them to actually deploy a driverless vehicle. They received their deployment permit in December of last year. Now Cruise and Waymo have joined in – just recently receiving permits for deployment at the end of September this year.

Issue DateManufacturer Name
Dec 23, 2020NURO, INC
Sep 30, 2021CRUISE LLC
Sep 30, 2021WAYMO LLC

Collision Volumes

The California DMV keeps track of the number of collisions for all autonomous vehicles. The number of collisions seems to generally track with the program size, and since we have no idea how often these manufacturers are testing their vehicles, we can’t say if any of them are really having more trouble with collisions than other manufacturers. In fact, higher number could just mean that those manufacturers are getting their fleets out there on the road more often.

  • Cruise has seen a couple of new collisions since our last report – up from 157 to 159.
  • Waymo is at 129, and so has added 12 to its collision total since September.
  • Zoox has had 3 more collisions.
  • Apple has added one more collision, for a total of 6.
  • Argo has added one more, and now has 3 total.
ManufacturerCollisions
CRUISE LLC159
WAYMO LLC129
ZOOX INC35
LYFT, INC8
PONY.AI5
APPLE INC6
AURORA INNOVATION4
UATC, LLC (UBER)3
WeRide Corp DBA WeRide AI3
ARGO AI, LLC3
TOYOTA RESEARCH INSTITUTE1

Previous Reports on Apple’s Autonomous Vehicle Program

Dr. Stacey Butler is a tech writer at macReports covering news, how-tos, and user guides. She is a longtime Mac and iPhone user and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Here is her LinkedIn profile.

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