14 Apr 2017 02:38 PM EST
-by Trista McKenzie, Contributing Writer; Image: Apple's headquarters at Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California (Image Source: Joe Ravi via Wikimedia Commons)
The California Department of Motor Vehicles announced on Friday that Apple is now permitted to test self-driving cars in the state.
According to a statement on the DMV's website, their autonomous vehicle tester program includes a total of 30 companies, including Tesla, Google, Uber, Ford, Volkswagen, and Mercedes. Apple is the newest addition to the list.
Apple Inc. secured the permit on Friday, giving the surest sign of progress in their efforts to develop self-driving car technology, Fox Business notes.
The permit allows the company to test self-driving cars on public roads, the company is required to report accidents within 10 business days, according to Venture Beat. Apple is also required to send in yearly reports documenting self-driving technology failures, such as how often actual drivers must take over for the technology (referred to as a "disengagement").
Though Apple has been known to be extremely secretive in the past, this permit will force them to be extremely transparent about their successes and failures with the project.
Apple has not formally announced plans to release a self-driving car, though their efforts have not gone unnoticed. An Apple spokesman declined to comment on the permit.
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