Paul Sakuma / AP

In a permit issued April 14 by the state of California and obtained by the WSJ, Apple lists 6 former NASA employees who will be test driving three autonomous Lexus sport-utility vehicles.

Why this matters: Though the company has been developing its autonomous vehicle technology since 2014 — in an effort known as "Project Titan" — the road tests signal that Apple is focusing on catching up in the race to develop self-driving cars.

Competitors: Apple faces stiff competition. Waymo has used senior engineers to test autonomous vehicles on roads since 2009. Meanwhile, both traditional companies like Ford and General Motors, as well as Silicon Valley companies like Uber and Tesla, are pouring their resources into developing self-driving technology.

The new hires:

  • Shilpa Gulati: She was part of a 2009 team working in Antartica on a NASA-funded project to develop a self-driving vehicle that could explore one of Jupiter's moons. Gulati later worked on autonomous cars at Robert Bosch GmbH, a German technology and auto-parts supplier.
  • Paul Herbet, Jeremy Ma and Victor Hwang: As WSJ points out, all three have worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Herbet designed a robot that could unlock a door; Ma focuses on algorithms for detecting 3-D objects; and Hwang worked on motion-planning algorithms for robots.

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Updated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 30,911,999 — Total deaths: 959,059— Total recoveries: 21,147,903Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30p.m. ET: 6,796,384 — Total deaths: 199,474 — Total recoveries: 2,590,671 — Total tests: 95,108,559Map.
  3. Politics: Testing czar on Trump's CDC contradictions: "Everybody is right" Ex-FDA chief: Career scientists won't be "easily cowed" by political vaccine pressure.
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning.
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19 — 7 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  6. World: England sets £10,000 fine for breaking self-isolation rules — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.

Arrest over letter to Trump containing poison ricin

President Trump returning to the White House from Minnesota on Sept. 18. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A suspect was arrested for allegedly "sending a suspicious letter" after law enforcement agents intercepted an envelope addressed to President Trump containing the poison ricin, the FBI confirmed in an emailed statement to Axios Sunday.

Details: The suspect, a woman, was arrested while trying to enter New York from Canada, law enforcement forces said.

Trump campaign goes all in on Pennsylvania

Trump poster in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The president's campaign is placing more importance on Pennsylvania amid growing concern that his chances of clinching Wisconsin are slipping, Trump campaign sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes, twice Wisconsin's number, actually has been trending higher in recent public and internal polling, a welcome development for the campaign.