Apple Confirms the Company is Working on Self-Driving Cars

Apple is developing artificial intelligence (AI) software to power self-driving cars.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed the company has been working on an Apple Car. While this is not the first time Apple talked about working on breaking into the car industry, it is a clear sign that Apple is expanding their reach in the tech industry.

Cook described Apple’s car project as a culmination of three different aspects including self-driving cars, electric vehicles, and ride-sharing. Together, those three factors could make the automobile industry even bigger.

That said, Cook says Apple is more focused on self-driving technology and not building a car.

“We’re focusing on… what we talked about we’re focusing on publicly is… We’re focusing on autonomous systems,” he said.

Tim Cook
DUBLIN, IRELAND – 11/11/2015 Apple CEO, Tim Cook, takes selfies with members of the Trinity College Dublin Philosophical Society after he was presented with the Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage (Laura Hutton / Shutterstock, Inc.)

This interview confirms previous reports that the company has been focusing on building the software instead of manufacturing cars.

“Clearly, one purpose of autonomous systems is self-driving cars — there are others. And we sort of see it as the mother all AI projects,” Cook said to Bloomberg.

Cook added, “It’s probably one of the most difficult AI projects to work on. So autonomy is something that is incredibly exciting for us. But we’ll see where it takes us — we’re not really saying from a product point of view what we’ll do. It’s a core technology that we view as very important.”

It is important to note Apple received an autonomous vehicle test permit so that the company could start testing self-driving cars in California. So far, reports show Apple has been using a Lexus SUV to check their sensors and devices.

But, is it too late? Google has already released their self-driving technology company Waymo. In fact, on Monday Google’s Waymo retired their self-driving cars in favor of Minivans.