Apple Adds More Drivers to Its Autonomous Vehicle Program

We have the latest numbers on autonomous vehicle programs from the California DMV. Apple has added 10 drivers to its team. Since our last report in late January, many of the top manufacturers have added drivers to their teams. Some have also added vehicles to their autonomous fleets. A notable exception is Waymo, which has decreased its fleet size and its number of licensed drivers.

Changes since our last report in late January

  • Mercedes has added 7 more vehicles to its fleet.
  • Waymo has decreased its driving team by 121 and the number of vehicles in its fleet by 60.
  • Cruise has made a massive cut to its driving team, cutting it by 307, but has increased its number of vehicles by 18.
  • Zoox, with the third-largest program behind Waymo and Cruise, has increased its driver team by 84 and its number of vehicles by 15.
  • Nvidia has increased its number of licensed drivers by 18.
  • Apple has added 10 drivers to its team.
  • Pony.ai has added 4 drivers.
  • Nuro has increased its number of drivers by 4 and fleet size by 19.
  • Motional has increased its number of drivers by 15 and its number of vehicles by 1.

Fleet volumes from California DMV as of March 25, 2022

Manufacturer NameDriversVehicles
MERC BENZ8944
WAYMO1405630
TESLA8622
CRUISE 757236
ZOOX472105
NVIDIA 24414
APPLE 15869
PONY.AI7041
TOYOTA 3534
NURO13234
MOTIONAL4024

Driverless programs

Apple has still not applied for a driverless permit in California. Other than Waymo, those manufacturers that do have a driverless program have kept their fleet volumes the same since our last report in January this year.

  • Waymo has added 17 cars to its driverless fleet.

Driverless fleet volumes as of March 25, 2022

ManufacturerVehicles
WAYMO71
NURO18
AUTOX 1
ZOOX2
CRUISE52
APOLLO3
WERIDE2
PONY.AI0

Driverless deployment

There have been no changes to the lineup of manufacturers who hold a permit for driverless deployment since September 2021. At that time, Cruise and Waymo joined early entrant Nuro to form the current trio of manufacturers who have permission to deploy their driverless vehicles.

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

Collision volumes

As more self-driving vehicles are deployed, we will see more crashes. California requires a special report to be filed whenever a self-driving car is involved in a traffic accident. These collision numbers include accidents of varying severity. The numbers also do not distinguish whether the crash happened in autonomous mode or while a driver was in control. They include both collisions where the autonomous vehicle was at fault and collisions where the other party was at fault.

Although some collisions can be more serious, we know, for example, from the collision reports that Apple’s two collisions that occurred in February were:

  • In conventional (not autonomous) mode, an Apple test vehicle clipped the side mirror of another vehicle, damaging both vehicles’ side mirror housings.
  • In conventional mode, an Apple test vehicle ran over road debris that was then kicked up and scratched the side of the test vehicle.

Notable changes since our last report in January:

  • Waymo has upped its collision number by 41 since January.
  • Cruise has added 5.
  • Zoox is up 3 collisions.
  • Apple has added 3 more collisions to its total.

Collision numbers as of March 25, 2022

ManufacturerCollisions
WAYMO176
CRUISE172
ZOOX42
APPLE11
PONY.AI6
AURORA4
WERIDE4
ARGO3
MOTIONAL1
NISSAN1
AIMOTIVE1
TOYOTA1

Previous coverage on Apple’s autonomous vehicle program

Early coverage 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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