Apple to Buy Self-Driving Startup Drive.ai


 
 
12:31 06/07/2019











iPhone maker Apple AAPL  is diving more into the self driving vehicle arena it seems.



The company is reportedly planning to acquire Drive.ai, a Silicon Valley self driving and AI software start up.



The Information reported this week that the acquisition with Apple is in process and it could be an acqui-hire that allows Apple to keep many of Drive.ai's engineers.



The publication cited two sources briefed on the matter who said Apple is buying the firm in an effort to boost its self-driving development efforts and absorbing its engineering talent. According to insiders, the self-driving start up had been looking for a buyer since February. If the acquisition is successful, Apple stands to gain dozens of engineers from the firm, said The Information.



Drive.ai is headquartered in Mountain View, California and uses artificial intelligence to make self-driving systems for cars. The company's retrofit kits can be used to add self-driving capabilities to existing commercial and business vehicles. Drive.ai is the second company to remove the safety driver from its autonomous vehicles.



To date, the company has raised approximately $77 million in funding and was valued at $200 million two years ago.



The company also makes self-driving shuttles that are currently being tested in Texas. Started in October 2018, Drive.ai operates near the Dallas Cowboys stadium, the Texas Rangers stadium, Arlington Convention Center, CenterPoint office complex, and surrounding areas as part of the city’s latest transportation technology program.



According to the company's website, through a convenient, on-demand ride hailing system, Arlington residents and visitors can connect to office parks, restaurants, convention centers, entertainment venues, and public recreational spaces throughout the area.



Apple declined to comment on the report.



Reuters also said in April that Apple is in dicussions with at least four suppliers for a revolutionary LIDAR system for self-driving vehicles.





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