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Apple More Than Doubled Autonomous-Car Road Tests in 2020

  • Apple vehicles drove farther in 2020 without disengagements
  • Company won’t launch its own consumer car for at least 5 years
The Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California.

The Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California.

Photographer: Sam Hall/Bloomberg
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Apple Inc. more than doubled road testing of its self-driving cars in 2020 as its autonomous technology improved, though it still significantly lags behind rivals as it looks eventually to launch a consumer vehicle.

The company’s cars drove 18,805 miles last year, up from 7,544 miles in 2019, according to a report filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant also reported 130 disengagements, the number of times a human driver had to take over, up from 64. That resulted in a disengagement every 145 miles, compared with every 118 miles in 2019. That suggests Apple’s self-driving technology improved in these test settings.