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Apple Confirms Acquisition of Self-Driving Vehicle Startup Drive.ai

Apple purchased Drive.ai, an autonomous driving startup based out of Mountain View, the company confirmed to Axios today.

Apple has hired dozens of Drive.ai engineers, and Drive.ai has ceased all operations over the course of the last few weeks.


Rumors in early June suggested Apple was in the process of acquiring Drive.ai to boost its in-house development of a self-driving vehicle system.

The deal at the time was described as an acqui-hire, suggesting Apple was interested in the company for its employees rather than its technology.

Drive.ai was first founded in 2015 by a group of Stanford University students, and launched a self-driving shuttle service in select cities in Texas. The company ran into difficulties, however, and sought out a buyer, which turned out to be Apple.

There's no word on the purchase price, but Axios says Apple has taken on new hires in the areas of engineering and product design.

Rumors have suggested that as part of its self-driving car efforts, Apple is working on a self-driving campus shuttle service to drive employees between the company's various Bay Area offices.

Apple's Drive.ai acquisition confirms that work on the Apple Car project is still underway. Apple in February laid off 190 employees in its self-driving car division as part of a restructuring effort.

Related Roundup: Apple Car


Top Rated Comments

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4 weeks ago

I read this an hour ago: https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/25/18758820/drive-ai-self-driving-startup-shutting-down-apple

The Verge is trash. I’m much happier to read my Apple news here at Macrumors.
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You must live in Europe. The US has a very coal-friendly baffoon in the White House. If anything, US production of coal will be ramping up in the near term.

Is it possible to talk about driverless car technology without bashing the president? Have we really gotten to the point where everything HAS to be political? Do you feel better now that you got that shot in and off your chest?
Rating: 12 Votes
4 weeks ago

With energy, neither the customer nor reason decides.
Deciding for or against technology is always political. Unfortunately. Especially a president does not wind out of responsibility, no matter if Dems or Reps.

The story about Apple buying a small, self driving start up warrants a shot at the President of the United States?

Sure, friend, sure.
Rating: 3 Votes
4 weeks ago
Here's a crazy idea... build a world where you don't need cars much at all. This obsession with cars - autonomous or otherwise - is not healthy.

I'd rather catch a nice train, with a driver up front with skin in the game.
Rating: 2 Votes
4 weeks ago
I read this an hour ago: https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/25/18758820/drive-ai-self-driving-startup-shutting-down-apple
Rating: 2 Votes
4 weeks ago
Politics aside, it won’t matter what Apple does, they are “doomed”.
Rating: 2 Votes
4 weeks ago

Tim has teamed up with Trump and Goldman Sachs, what makes you think he won't partner with oil companies?

Optimism ;-)
The belief in a better world does not always have to come from naivety.
On the contrary, this time there are simply technical facts, and this time the competition for efficient energy is decided anew in international competition.

Nations that rely on oil and coal will lose. Even guys like Trump are clear about that.
Rating: 2 Votes
4 weeks ago

I'm curious to see whether Apple will integrate the most environmentally friendly and recource-friendly type of propulsion into its fleet: A hydrogen combustion engine (not a fuel cell). Solar cells can generate the electricity needed to generate it in an environmentally friendly way.


the problem i see with that is the fact is it still uses roughly 4X the electricity to generate that hydrogen, so at that point why do hydrogen in the 1st place the electric car is the more energy conscious option
Rating: 2 Votes
4 weeks ago

People like to be able to go to a precise location in one trip, and not "somewhere near" at the time they want. A train is brilliant if you simply need to move between locations which are close to a train-station, but not so great if you have to change trains, then get on a bus / taxi, etc.

Electrical cars are great, but the fuel-cell / battery is not. Limited miles, takes ages before they're full, and you have to plan where you can fill the battery... and of course the chemical waste in due time once the batteries need to be replaced.

Hydrogen seems to be closest to the answer. But, I also hear problems with the amount of electricity it needs to generate hydrogen in the first place.

Something tells me that this "issue" will always stay, one way or another. Energy will never come free. But it will be great to be less dependant on oil.


A very smart post, two thumbs up!

Especially the following part: "Electrical cars are great, but the fuel-cell / battery is not."

People always think that battery technology will improve with similar rate as microprocessors.

This just isn't and wont be the case.

Petroleum is a bad energy source in terms of pollution, but it is a great energy source in terms of energy storage.

Batteries are close to the limit of what can be done with todays technology, there wont be a "miraculous advancement" in a year or two that will magically solve all the problems with batteries.

Thunderf00t, despite all his faults, on Youtube has a great video explaining this.

[MEDIA=youtube]8RbwOhM6PUk[/MEDIA]
Rating: 1 Votes
4 weeks ago

I read this an hour ago


and yet the macrumors bot was the 1st to post it here.

way to drop the ball :p
Rating: 1 Votes
4 weeks ago
Autonomous cars —- Taking the fun out of driving..!!
Rating: 1 Votes

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