Tim Cook Hints at Apple’s Electric Car, Sings Tesla’s Praises
The media, Apple fans and the general public have been speculating about an Apple autonomous electric vehicle project since 2014. A Reuters report last December made it seem as if it was nearly a done deal, with the announcement that Apple was targeting a self-driving passenger vehicle launch by 2024. Yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook refused to confirm nor deny developments of a self-driving EV to Kara Swisher, from Sway, although certain statements seemed to hint that the project is still in the works.
Pointing out the fact that an autonomous vehicle is, essentially, a robot, Cook told Sway, “The autonomy itself is a core technology, in my view…. And so there’s lots of things you can do with autonomy. And we’ll see what Apple does. We investigate so many things internally. Many of them never see the light of day. I’m not saying that one will not.”
In June 2019, Apple bought autonomous vehicle startup Drive.ai. Swisher asked if Apple had plans to develop a car or simply “the technology within the car.” Although Cook refused to answer the question directly, he said, “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.”
Swisher took that to mean an autonomous electric vehicle was on the horizon for the leading technology developer.
Swisher also asked Cook about Tesla’s offer to buy Apple in the company’s earlier days. “I’ve never spoken to Elon,” Cook said, “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,” Cook told Swisher.
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