Published: Fri, June 28, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Apple buys autonomous-car startup Drive.ai

Apple buys autonomous-car startup Drive.ai

Apple has reportedly acquired self-driving vehicle startup Drive.ai, adding engineering talent to its own auto efforts.

At this stage Apple has not noted its intention with the acquisition, but considering Drive.ai had its own self-driving cars on the roads of San Francisco, now developing similar options for Apple makes a lot of sense.

Drive.ai has apparently been in talks with multiple companies about selling their company, they have been looking for a sale since February and Apple has purchased them in this new deal. Buying Drive.ai comes as a push to its autonomous vehicles dream.

Drive.ai's product was unique - rather than create self-driving cars from scratch, the company made "kits" to turn regular cars into autonomous vehicles.

Apple's autonomous shuttle project, dubbed "Palo Alto to Infinite Loop" or PAIL, was meant to link its offices in Silicon Valley. They founded Drive.ai because they believe that this technology has the potential to save lives and transform industries, and they think this is the right team to do it. It had several Lexus SUVs outfitted with a range of different sensors and were equipped with new LIDAR equipment as in 2017.

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But to date, being part of FAANG seems an indicator of both past and future success - there hasn't been a lot of pushback against, say, Amazon's e-commerce eclipse, or Apple's front-running operating systems. "It's a core technology that we view as very important. It's probably one of the most hard AI projects actually to work on".

Apple, for its part, has been investing heavily in its own automotive ambitions, including working on self-driving vehicle technology.

SEE ALSO: Could Apple Acquire Tesla?

Apple has hired former Drive.ai engineers.

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