Apple Reportedly in Process of Acquiring Self-Driving Vehicle Company Drive.ai

MacRumors

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Apple is in the process of acquiring self-driving vehicle startup Drive.ai in order to boost its own development of a self-driving vehicle system, according to unnamed sources cited by The Information's Amir Efrati and Alex Heath.


The planned deal is described as an "acqui-hire," suggesting that Apple is interested in the company primarily for its employees rather than its technology. The acquisition could reportedly result in dozens of Drive.ai engineers ending up at Apple, where they would likely work on autonomous driving systems.

"We don't comment on speculation," an Apple spokesperson told The Information, suggesting that the acquisition may not be finalized.

Drive.ai was founded in 2015 by a group of Stanford University students. Based in Mountain View, California, the company launched a self-driving shuttle service in select cities in Texas, but the report claims it has been "struggling" recently and looking for a buyer. It looks like that buyer may be Apple.

(Thanks, Chris!)

Article Link: Apple Reportedly in Process of Acquiring Self-Driving Vehicle Company Drive.ai
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
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Such seamless equipment on that car. If it wasn't for the advertising you'd never know there was anything different about that vehicle. :rolleyes:

Why not go after Zoox and Nuro. They both have far better rankings. Apple's got enough money to make them an offer they can't refuse.
 

mozumder

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2009
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Self-driving vehicles will NEVER happen. Please stop this scam immediately. The technology will never be good enough without infrastructure changes, like rail-on-road.

Tesla vehicles in self-driving mode are as dangerous as motorcycles. Meanwhile, there are several car models that have NEVER had a driver fatality.
 

Williesleg

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2014
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NY, NY
Self-driving vehicles will NEVER happen. Please stop this scam immediately. The technology will never be good enough without infrastructure changes, like rail-on-road.

Tesla vehicles in self-driving mode are as dangerous as motorcycles. Meanwhile, there are several car models that have NEVER had a driver fatality.
I use my Tesla model 3 autopilot every day, works fine for me on the highway, either with or without traffic. Love it!
 

calzon65

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2008
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When I read early stories/opinions that Apple may get into the auto business with a self driving car I thought that was ridiculous, but if Apple develops technologies used in self driving cars then licenses those technologies to car manufacturers, kind of like CarPlay, that might be a good strategy.
 

Return Zero

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Oct 2, 2013
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In light of the Pro Display stand announcement, it wouldn’t surprise me if they develop a car and charge an extra fee to get the “beautifully functional” steering wheel. :rolleyes:
It legitimately wouldn't surprise me to see manual controls as a paid upgrade someday. Once autonomous driving becomes mandatory because of safety reasons, manual driving will require special hardware and licensing.
 
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Jsameds

macrumors 68040
Apr 22, 2008
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Self-driving vehicles will NEVER happen. Please stop this scam immediately. The technology will never be good enough without infrastructure changes, like rail-on-road.

Tesla vehicles in self-driving mode are as dangerous as motorcycles. Meanwhile, there are several car models that have NEVER had a driver fatality.
Self-flying planes will NEVER happen. Please stop this scam immediately. The technology will never be good enough without infrastructure changes, like rails in the sky.

Boeing airplanes in autopilot mode are as dangerous as zeppelins. Meanwhile, there are several airplane models that have NEVER had a pilot fatality.
 

LordVic

macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2011
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I am still wondering what the hell apple is doing with all the car stuff. None of it really has made a lot of sense because it seems like they're chasing a market that wants absolutely nothing to do with 3rd parties like Apple.

The car companies aren't going to Apple, Google, Microsoft, Etc to do self driving tech. They're doing it internally and using their own resources. They're not going to go to Apple to license self driving tech especially when Apple isn't in the car OS business (nor do they have a capable OS for the car).

They're also not building a car that we can actually tell. So what is with all this research and buying up of car related industry? They seem to be chasing a dragon in all this and don't know what they're going to do if they ever catch it.
 

code-m

macrumors 68000
Apr 13, 2006
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It legitimately wouldn't surprise me to see manual controls as a paid upgrade someday. Once autonomous driving becomes mandatory because of safety reasons, manual driving will require special hardware and licensing.
Though classics are not produced anymore there are still rebuilds and restoration efforts as a hobby or business. Those cars lack many of the safety features in present day vehicles as they are grandfathered.

I suspect a similar situation.
[doublepost=1559829218][/doublepost]
I am still wondering what the hell apple is doing with all the car stuff. None of it really has made a lot of sense because it seems like they're chasing a market that wants absolutely nothing to do with 3rd parties like Apple.

The car companies aren't going to Apple, Google, Microsoft, Etc to do self driving tech. They're doing it internally and using their own resources. They're not going to go to Apple to license self driving tech especially when Apple isn't in the car OS business (nor do they have a capable OS for the car).

They're also not building a car that we can actually tell. So what is with all this research and buying up of car related industry? They seem to be chasing a dragon in all this and don't know what they're going to do if they ever catch it.
Hmm, same was snails about iPod, iPhone, etc.

It’s Apple’s spin on wheels ;):p
 

Return Zero

macrumors 6502a
Oct 2, 2013
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Self-driving vehicles will NEVER happen. Please stop this scam immediately. The technology will never be good enough without infrastructure changes, like rail-on-road.

Tesla vehicles in self-driving mode are as dangerous as motorcycles. Meanwhile, there are several car models that have NEVER had a driver fatality.
This is simply not true. Self-driving vehicles have already happened. The problem is, when you load them up with all the necessary features to actually be safe enough without a driver (like lidar, advanced mapping, etc.), they are way too expensive and unwieldy. This is why Musk wants to solve the problem using only vision, front radar, and ultrasonic (I'm not 100% convinced that's the best route, but he has a point).

I do agree that Tesla vehicles in the existing autopilot version are very dangerous, mainly because their drivers rely too much on it, as proven by the handful of autopilot fatalities. However, they now have a massive fleet of vehicles gathering real-world data from all over, and with advancements in continuous machine learning, they do actually have a compelling case for being able to reach their goal of full autonomy, provided they don't go bankrupt. I have a feeling they'll have to add a few more sensors/cameras before they actually get to that point, though.
 

calzon65

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2008
716
2,178
0
Self-flying planes will NEVER happen. Please stop this scam immediately. The technology will never be good enough without infrastructure changes, like rails in the sky.

Boeing airplanes in autopilot mode are as dangerous as zeppelins. Meanwhile, there are several airplane models that have NEVER had a pilot fatality.
I am a pilot with several certifications (VFR, IFR, multi-engine, complex aircraft) so I can say from experience that creating a so-called "self-flying plane" auto-pilot to fly an aircraft through a full flight plan from a beginning-of-the-runway takeoff to landing (full stop at the end of the runway but no taxi to a gate) is substantially easier than creating a self driving car to replace drivers in all conditions.

Sure someone will say, what about the 737-MAX problems, yes that was/is a huge debacle on Boeing's part, but the main point is that so many people are underestimating the extreme complexity of delivering a 100% self driving car to replace the driver in all conditions. It took about 80 years before commercial aviation started to become very safe, the evolution of self driving cards will take many decades to reach the kind of safety and consumer confidence we see in commercial aviation.
 
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