>> It's official, as of Friday Apple has a permit to test self driving cars in California. The clearest signal yet of Tim Cook's ambitions to dive into the business. Apple now joins a list of companies from traditional car makers like GM, to tech giants such as Google, already testing their self driving vehicles on public roads in California.
Reuters' correspondent, Alexandria Sage on the phone from San Francisco.>> Most of the companies working on self driving cars have research and development labs in Silicon Valley. That's why having a permit in California to drive on its roads is so important. That list of companies who have a permit is growing.
It includes such companies as Volkswagen, and Mercedes, and Tesla, as well as a whole host of start ups that you've never heard of, who are all trying to work on this technology.>> Many companies believe the first cars will launch in 2020, but some experts say it may take much longer due to regulatory concerns.
Apple executives have been coy about their interest in cars, with even Cook suggesting that Apple wants to move beyond integration of smartphones into vehicle infotainment systems. Apple was not immediately available for comment.