Apple looks set to ramp up its autonomous vehicle program with the acquisition of Drive.ai.
According to reports from The Information, Apple is working to acquire the company and its team – indeed, engineers and other key personnel will be included as part of a takeover bid.
As is the case in the majority of Apple acquisitions, the company is looking to purchase talented teams and intellectual property rather than brand value or customer bases.
Apple does not discuss acquisitions with the public or press, telling journalists that it does not “comment on speculation,” which suggests that negotiations for the deal are ongoing.
Founded back in 2015, Drive.ai uses artificial intelligence to create self-driving transportation solutions that “improve the state of mobility today”.
According to some reports, the company raised more than US$77 million from investors during a recent fundraising round, but those rounds were not enough to keep the company independent, with them later seeking a buyer.
If the deal goes ahead and Apple takes control of the company, it will gain access to more than 100 engineers who are experienced in self-driving cars and technology, which will no doubt help them speed up production on their own self-driving technology or software.
Indeed, Apple has been working on a self-driving car project for a number of years, although the parameters have changed somewhat in recent years.
Originally planned to serve as the foundations for an Apple-branded car, Apple later changed its course of action and moved towards autonomous vehicle subsystems rather than automobiles, although we don’t know for certain that an Apple-branded car has been taken off the table; anything is possible!
What we do know for certain, however, is that Apple is working on software for autonomous vehicles, and dubbed Project Titan, the company has been conducting several self-driving tests in California and recently recruited Tesla’s Michael Schwekutsch for the project.
Are you excited to see what happens next with Apple’s latest acquisition? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter using @AppleMagazine, and check back soon for more news on Apple.