"It's a core technology that we view as very important", Cook said in an interview with Bloomberg, adding that it is "probably one of the most hard AI projects to work on". "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". A few carmakers have dedicated hundreds of millions of dollars to acquiring autonomous vehicle startups.
Apple had initially been seeking to build its own auto, before recalibrating those ambitions past year to prioritise the underlying technology for autonomous driving, Bloomberg News reported. Apple reportedly hired more than 1,000 engineers to work on Project Titan.
Ballooning costs and headcount led to Apple veteran Bob Mansfield being given the reins of the team in 2016.
Reuters/Stephen LamTim Cook, CEO, speaks during Apple's annual worldwide developer conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, June 5, 2017. While there have been about six vehicles tested in and around California, Apple is yet to confirm how long the company plans to continue the road tests. Are we looking at a future with two major autonomous vehicle systems just as we now have two major smartphone systems? It became public when it was published on a federal website.
Potentially, the company could partner up with an established automaker.
Cook told Bloomberg television that Apple wants to move into the automotive sector because "there is a major disruption looming" from new technologies. Tesla recently topped BMW to become the fourth most valuable vehicle company in the world. The company will make a decision on whether to proceed with the push later this year, the people said at the time.
Tesla, the main Silicon Valley company deeply involved in transportation, has seen a almost 70 percent appreciation in its share price over the first six months of 2017.
Apple still won't say publicly if it intends to sell a vehicle of its own, but Cook's remarks implied that the company is less interested in building a machine on wheels than developing the software or brains that could power one. Nothing Cook said was particularly revelatory and echoed what most others in the space have been saying-autonomous technology will be a game-changer, used for ride-sharing services, and is "the mother of all AI projects".