After recent reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted at the company's work in autonomous vehicles, according to recent reports that the company is in renewed talks to develop its own car.
The autonomous itself is a fundamental technology in my opinion; if you kind of step back, the car, in a lot of ways, is a robot. An autonomous car is a robot and there's lots of things you can do with autonomy. And we will see what Apple does, said Kara Swisher in an interview on Sway Monday with Cook on the Cook podcast. Many of us want to investigate them all ourselves, but often never see the light of day. When asked if Apple was working on a car itself or the technology within a car, Cook declined to comment.
We love to integrate hardware, software and services, and find the intersection points of these because we think that is where the magic happens. And so we love to do; and we love to own the primary technology that's around that, he said. Apple has long been expected to get into the auto business with its own car or selling its technology to other car makers, and has made a number of moves showing it planned to do so.
In 2019, to further enhance its engineering ranks, the company acquired autonomous vehicle startup Drive.ai in order to acquire it.
An autonomous vehicle could position Tesla against the company, which is rolling out its own self-driving features. In 2018, Tesla hired Doug Field, then the senior vice president of engineering at Apple, to work on the self-driving cars. Apple has also hired several other former Tesla employees, including former Tesla vice president of engineering Michael Schwekutsch, now Senior Director of Engineering for the Special Projects Group at Apple.
In last year, Tesla CEO Cook had even said that he once tried to start talks to sell the company to Apple, but Musk declined to take a meeting. You know, I 've never spoken to Elon, although I have great admiration and respect for the company he has built.
I think Tesla has done an unbelievable job of not only keeping the lead, but also establishing it in the EV space for such a long period of time. I have great appreciation for them, Cook told Swisher. Most recently, CNBC reported that Apple was close to finalizing a deal with Hyundai-Kia to manufacture an autonomous electric vehicle at the Kia assembly plant in West Point, Georgia.
The automakers later walked back on the claims; Listen to the full interview with Tim Cook here.