Tim Cook confirms Apple is working on AI software for self-driving cars


Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about autonomous driving for the initially time, revealing his firm downsized its ambitions from developing a full-fledged self-driving auto to entirely concentrating on AI units.

In a post-Throughout the world Builders Convention interview with Bloomberg from very last 7 days introduced Tuesday, Cook explained Apple is now functioning on the “mother of all AI projects.”

“We’re concentrating on autonomous units,” explained Cook. “It’s in all probability one of the most hard AI projects to do the job on. Autonomy is one thing that is amazingly interesting for us and we’ll see wherever it takes us.”

Apple’s autonomous driving projects, dubbed Undertaking Titan, started all around 2014 to situation the Cupertino-based firm within just the self-driving auto race in Silicon Valley involving Google and Uber. Soon after employing in excess of 1,000 engineers and seeing ballooning costs in its initially two decades, Apple dialed back Undertaking Titan in 2016, chopping hundreds of personnel out of the project and ditching its desires of developing an Apple auto.

In its place, Apple partnered with auto makers like Lexus to do the job on the brains of a wise auto. In April, Apple secured a allow from the California Office of Motor Autos to take a look at 3 self-driving Lexus SUVs on Bay Region streets.

Cook spoke briefly with Bloomberg about how the nexus of self-driving engineering, electric powered cars and trucks and ride-hailing can revolutionize how individuals and merchandise are transported. To get a foot in the ride-hailing recreation, Apple invested $1 billion to Didi Chuxing, China’s biggest ride-sharing services, in 2016.

“There is a main disruption looming there,” explained Cook. “You’ve acquired variety of 3 vectors of adjust occurring typically in the exact same time frame.”

Along with Apple, Google by using Waymo, Lyft and Uber all are competing to become the initially Silicon Valley firm to start a self-driving auto. Waymo retired its petite but adorable “Firefly” product cars and trucks on Monday to make place for minivans built by Chrysler.

Taking part in capture-up, Lyft partnered with Waymo, Jaguar, General Motoros and nuTonomy, a self-driving auto startup, to take part in the race for self-driving cars and trucks without the need of getting to expend millions of engineers and cars and trucks.

Uber has its very own partnership with Ford, but its efforts screeched to a in close proximity to-halt in the past several months thanks to a higher-profile lawsuit with Google, who argue Uber’s previous head of self-driving engineering Anthony Levandowski stole trade secrets from Google when he labored there. Levandowski was fired by Uber very last thirty day period for refusing to cooperate with the judge’s requests.

With several transferring parts all all around Silicon Valley, Cook did not depend Apple out from returning into developing its very own self-driving auto.

“We’ll see wherever it takes us,” Cook explained. “We’re not seriously expressing from a products point of see what we will do.”

Photograph: Apple CEOTim Cook speaks through an Apple function in San Francisco in 2015.  (AP Photograph/Eric Risberg)


Tags: Apple, self-driving auto, Tim Cook, Uber