Tim Cook announces iPhone 11.
Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted at the company’s work in autonomous vehicles, following recent reports that the company is in renewed talks to develop its own car.
“Autonomy in itself is a core technology, in my opinion. If you go back, the car is in many ways a robot. An autonomous car is a robot. And then there are many things you can do with autonomy. And we̵
“We investigate so many things internally. Many of them never see the light of day. I’m not saying one does not want to,” Cook added.
Asked if Apple worked on a car itself or the technology in a car, Cook declined to comment.
“We love integrating hardware, software and services, and finding the intersections of these because we believe that’s where the magic comes from. And that’s what we love to do. And we love owning the primary technology around it,” he said.
It has long been expected that Apple will enter the automotive industry with its own vehicle or sell the technology to other automakers, and has made a number of moves indicating that they plan to do so. Helping to strengthen its technical ranks, the company acquired autonomous vehicle startup Drive.ai in 2019.
An autonomous vehicle can position the company against Tesla, which is rolling out its own self-driving functions. In 2018, Apple hired Doug Field, then Tesla’s senior vice president of engineering, to work on self-driving cars. Apple has also brought in several other former Tesla employees, including former Tesla vice president of engineering Michael Schwekutsch, now senior engineering director of Special Projects Group at Apple.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk had even said last year that he once tried to start talks to sell the company to Apple, but Cook refused to attend a meeting.
“You know, I’ve never talked to Elon, even though I have great admiration and respect for the company he’s built. I think Tesla has done an incredible job of not only establishing leadership, but maintaining leadership for such a long period of time. “So I really appreciate them,” Cook told Swisher.
Most recently, CNBC reported that Apple was close to completing an agreement with Hyundai-Kia to produce an Apple-branded autonomous electric vehicle at the Kia assembly plant in West Point, Georgia. However, carmakers later retracted the allegations.
Listen to the full interview with Tim Cook here.
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