Apple is reportedly in the process of acquiring once-promising self-driving shuttle firm Drive.ai in a deal that will bolster the tech giant’s own autonomous vehicle initiative with seasoned engineers and segment experts.
Citing people familiar with the matter, The Information reports Apple is structuring the deal as an “acqui-hire,” meaning engineers and other key personnel are targets of the buy. As with most Apple acquisitions, the Cupertino company is looking for talent and intellectual property, not brand value.
Drive.ai was founded in 2015 by graduate students from Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab. Based in Mountain View, Calif., the firm in 2018 launched pilot programs in Texas to test its autonomous shuttle vehicle. “Drive.ai uses artificial intelligence to create self-driving transportation solutions that improve the state of mobility today,” according to its website.
MacDailyNews Take: According to Drive.ai’s website, “Drive.ai uses artificial intelligence to create self-driving transportation solutions that improve the state of mobility today. Drive.ai offers turnkey mobility solutions with self-driving cars for partners and communities, solving for their unique and everyday transportation needs. Drive.ai can scale to new cities and different use cases quickly and successfully, making self-driving a reality for more locations faster.”