A recent report from the market research firm, TMR, forecast that there will be 600,000 self-driving cars on the roads by 2025, and suggested that Tesla, Nissan and Google’s Waymo subsidiary would be the market leaders in the autonomous vehicle sector at that time.
However, the firm’s market forecast was made before Apple jumped on the autonomous vehicle bandwagon.
Ending several years of media speculation, Apple’s intention to begin testing its own self-driving cars was made official a few days ago when it was revealed that the department of motor vehicles in the US state of California has granted the tech giant a permit to test-drive its autonomous vehicles on public roads.
TMR’s market forecast suggests there will be 29 million autonomous cars driving off the forecourts and onto the roads each and every year by 2035, so it is perhaps not surprising that the company that shook up the smartphone market with the launch of the iPhone in 2007 is positioning itself to do the same in the self-driving car market.
“Apple is investing heavily in machine learning and autonomous systems. There are many potential applications for these technologies, including the future of transportation”, an Apple spokesperson acknowledged back in December.
29 other companies have already been issued with permits to test-drive self-driving cars in California, including some of the world’s leading car companies (Ford, BMW, General Motors, Volkswagen) and two of the world’s foremost tech firms: Google and Tesla.
Unless Apple has already made huge strides in the development of its own autonomous vehicle technology behind closed doors, the company will have quite a bit of catching up to do. But given the fact that Apple is currently the most valuable company in the world by market capitalisation, and has a huge sum of capital ready and able to invest, it may not be too long before the company begins shaking things up yet again.