This is actually not the first time that Apple’s plans have been revealed by government agencies. Back in December last year it was revealed that Apple’s director of product integrity had written in to the NHTSA with regards to automation of transportation and machine learning, hinting at self-driving car plans.
However if you might recall, it was also reported last year that Apple had given up on building its own electric car. This doesn’t mean that Apple still isn’t interested in the technology, but instead it suggested that Apple could simply be looking more towards the software side rather than the hardware side of things. Given that making your own cars is a huge undertaking, it is understandable.
So this permit granted by the DMV could simply be Apple looking to test their software with existing vehicles, and nothing more, but it is an interesting development anyway. No word on if and when Apple will ever release this software to carmakers, but we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled all the same.