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Apple apparently building a driverless car

I get the feeling that if Google decided to make a hair dryer that doesn’t really dry your hair, everyone would rush to make one themselves.

That’s the first thing that comes to mind when I heard rumours of Apple building its own driverless car.

As a local website reported (opens in new tab), with images and videos later emerging on YouTube as well, there seem to be a couple of suspicious-looking Dodge minivans driving around Concord in California, as well as Brooklyn, New York.

They’re suspicious because they appear to have up to a dozen cameras mounted on their roof, and they’re all registered to Apple.

As speculates (opens in new tab), there are two possibilities: Either Apple is using the cameras to integrate a StreetView-type feature into its own mapping product, or they’re testing a driverless car.

Apple is not the only company looking into the prospect of a driverless vehicle: Mercedes, Nvidia, Tesla, Uber – are all involved in developing this technology.

At CES in January 2015, Nvidia showcased its Drive PX platform to power the next generation of autonomous vehicles using its new Tegra X1 chip, and the likes of Mercedes and Ford are keeping a close eye on the new technology.

However, in order to test a driverless car, the company needs to have a proper permit, one that it currently doesn’t own.

Technology analyst Rob Enderle told CBS that not having such a test permit wouldn't rule out Apple attempting to develop a driverless vehicle. "It can be a partnership. You know, they have partnerships with a variety of the carmakers," said Enderle. "Just because they're leasing the car doesn't necessarily mean it's their project."

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.