by Dan Moren
Tim Cook acknowledges Apple’s working on autonomous car systems
In a rare move, Apple CEO Tim Cook dished–albeit vaguely–about Apple’s plans in the self-driving car space during an interview on Bloomberg TV:
“We’re focusing on autonomous systems,” Cook said in an interview on Bloomberg Television on June 5. “It’s a core technology that we view as very important.”
“We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects,” Cook said in his most detailed comments to date on Apple’s plans in the car space. “It’s probably one of the most difficult A.I. projects actually to work on.”
Cook specifically says that autonomy is a “core technology” but is also careful to point out that he’s not confirming any sort of product direction at the present. Which prompted this sort of response from Apple analyst Neil Cybart:
Cook won't say it, but I will.
Apple is working on core technologies for self-driving cars because they want their own self-driving car.
— Neil Cybart (@neilcybart) June 13, 2017
Strategically, I can see where Cybart is coming from. Apple is a company that doesn’t invest a lot of money and effort–and from all indications, Project Titan is not short on either–into anything that it can’t turn around into some sort of product. And in general that means something that it creates and sells directly to the consumer, not something that it licenses to other companies. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be working on building the underlying technologies first.