Buying Drive.ai could bring fresh expertise to Apple’s autonomous car

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Drive.ai self-driving car
Drive.ai is already testing a self-driving vehicle system.
Photo: Drive.ai

An acquisition could bring a wave of new talent to Apple’s self-driving car efforts. If a rumored deal to purchase Drive.ai happens, it should help calm any fears the Apple is losing interesting in this technology that were raised by a recent round of layoffs.

Drive.ai says it “uses artificial intelligence to create self-driving transportation solutions that improve the state of mobility today.” It has a small fleet of test vehicles on the roads in Frisco, Texas.

Apple is primarily interested in buying the company for its engineering talent, according to The Information.

Apple’s autonomous car project is real

Apple has said little about its efforts to design a self-driving car, but the project definitely exists. Last year, a former employee tried to steal proprietary information from Apple’s autonomous vehicle design team, and the FBI report on the incident revealed that there are thousands of people working in the program.

But there are a bit fewer after layoffs this winter, bringing some speculation that Apple was losing interest in what has to be a very expensive endeavor.

At about that same time, a whitepaper describing the elaborate safety procedures this project uses gave some insight into the automated vehicle Apple is creating.