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Cook: Apple Focusing on Autonomous Car Systems

Apple Inc is concentrating on technology for self-driving cars, Chief Executive Tim Cook said for the first time in an interview with Bloomberg Television's Emily Chang. By 24/7 Staff

As reported by Bloomberg Technology, Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, after years toiling away in secret on a car project, has for the first time elaborated on the company’s plans in the automotive market.

“We’re focusing on autonomous systems,” Cook said in an interview on Bloomberg Television that amounted to his most detailed comments yet on Apple’s automotive plans (watch video above).

“It’s a core technology that we view as very important.” He likened the effort to “the mother of all AI projects,” saying it’s “probably one of the most difficult AI projects to work on.”

The prospect of self-driving cars has seen a slew of technology companies push into the auto industry, according to McKinsey & Co. Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo unit has signed partnerships with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Lyft Inc. to develop the technology.

And car makers from BMW AG to General Motors Co. have opened sizable Silicon Valley offices and dedicated hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire autonomous vehicle startups.

44 Corporations Working on Autonomous Vehicles

Apple had initially been seeking to build its own car, before recalibrating those ambitions last year to prioritize the underlying technology for autonomous driving, Bloomberg News reported.

The iPhone maker had hired more than 1,000 engineers to work on Project Titan, as the car team is known internally, after it started in 2014.

Cook details that the disruption of the automotive industry is three-fold. Obviously there is autonomy but equally important are electric vehicles and ride-sharing.

Read: Disruptive Trends That Will Transform the Auto Industry

“You’ve got kind of three vectors of change happening generally in the same time frame,” he explained.

Speaking of his excitement for electric cars, “It’s a marvelous experience not to stop at the filling station or the gas station.”

Always one to be involved in anything with the potential to disrupt, when it comes to that third vector of change, in 2016 Apple invested $1 billion in China’s biggest ride-sharing service, Didi Chuxing.

So in case you were wondering, Apple still has a finger in all the autonomous car areas, we just have to wait and see where it takes them.

Related Article: What Intel’s $15.3 billion Acquisition of Mobileye Means in the Age of Driverless Vehicles

Autonomous Cars: Starts with Convenience and Ends with Safety
When cars drive themselves, our roads become safer, less congested, and more accessible to everyone. Intel is powering the new ecosystem that will make fully autonomous driving possible.

From high-performance compute in the vehicle, to reliable connectivity to the cloud, to a data center that continuously improves driving models, Intel is accelerating the path to the future of transportation.

The Road to Autonomous Driving

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