Apple CEO Tim Cook has given hints of the company’s plan to develop its car, its autonomous vehicle. “The autonomy itself is a core technology, in my view. If you sort of step back, the car, in a lot of ways, is a robot. An autonomous car is a robot. And so there are lots of things you can do with autonomy. And we’ll see what Apple does,” Cook said in an interview released Monday with Kara Swisher on the “Sway” podcast.
“We investigate so many things internally. Many of them never see the light of day. I’m not saying that one will not,” Cook added.
However, he declined to comment when quizzed if Apple was working on the car itself or if was the technology within a car. “We love to integrate hardware, software, and services, and find the intersection points of those because we think that’s where the magic occurs. And so that’s what we love to do. And we love to own the primary technology that’s around that,” he said.
There have speculations since long of Apple getting into the Car space by either developing its own car or developing technology for cars in collaboration with other car players.
The company had in 2019, acquired the autonomous vehicle startup Drive.ai, observers would recall. The autonomous vehicle platform would pitch Apple against Tesla. In 2018, Apple had hired Doug Field, who was Tesla’s Senior Vice President of Engineering. The mandate was to possibly work on the self-driving car. Mr.Michael Schwekutch, now Senior Director of Engineering for Special Projects group at Apple too had been recruited when he was Vice president of Engineering. And there were many other recruits too from Tesla.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk too had spoken of his intention, last year, to sell the company to Apple. Apple and Tim Cook however refused to comment on the same.
“You know, I’ve never spoken to Elon, although I have great admiration and respect for the company he’s built. I think Tesla has done an unbelievable job of not only establishing the lead but keeping the lead for such a long period of time in the EV space. So I have a great appreciation for them,” Cook told Swisher.
CNBC had reported that Apple had been close to finalizing a deal with Hyundai-Kia for manufacturing an Apple Brand autonomous Electric Car. This was to be manufactured at the Kia Assembly plant in West Point, Georgia. However, the deal did not go through.