4

Just curious because "APD-40" is the name of a major highway in my hometown of Cleveland, Tennessee. The only other usage of this term out-of-universe appears to be the designation of a US Navy Destroyer. If one of these is the origin, the latter seems the more likely, yet the highway is overwhelmingly more prominent.

What even intrigues me more here is that there appears to be nothing else noteworthy in Star Wars that uses the abbreviation "APD" (eg. no such thing as "APD class" droids). The only usage of this term appears to be one time in the book Children of the Jedi: Star Wars Legends.

Very mystifying to me, and I find it hard to believe that this somehow just happens to be a coincidence.

3

It's unclear. As you noted, they were mentioned in one book (Children of the Jedi by Barbara Hambly). The extent of what we know about them is:

APD-40s were droids with cylindrical heads that used gold wire and xylen chips. Production of APD-40s ended during the Clone Wars, when they were replaced with 3PO-series protocol droids.
APD-40 | Wookieepedia

The PD almost certainly stands for Protocol Droid. The 40 is likely random to indicate multiple generations (for worldbuilding reasons). I have no idea what the A stands for. Maybe something like "Automatic" or "Autonomous", but that is pure speculation. Short of asking the author, it is unlikely we will ever find out.

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