Apple Acquires Self Driving Car startup Company Drive.ai

Apple buys autonomous driving startup Drive.ai

Apple buys autonomous driving startup Drive.ai

We reached out to both Apple and Drive.ai to confirm the deal.

The iPhone and Mac maker have confirmed with Axios its acquisition of the start-up, though the price of the buy-out hasn't been disclosed.

The startup was once valued at over $200 million before it ran into issues which is when the company began to explore the option of selling. Rather, Apple is expected to absorb the talent inside of the company to pair with other recent hires from the likes of Tesla and Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo. The startup, which developed artificial intelligence for autonomous vehicles, recently laid off its staff in Mountain View, Calif., and Plano, Texas.

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Drive.ai was founded in 2015 by machine learning researchers at Stanford University and is among the more exciting autonomous driving startups, according to The Verge. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news. That has been considered a critical challenge for autonomous vehicles since they'll eventually have no driver onboard to signal with facial expressions or hand gestures. In March, its eight-month free shuttle pilot in Frisco, Texas ended and its four vehicles went to Arlington, Texas for a separate free service. Axios also reports that papers were filed for the acquisition before Drive.ai shutdown, with Apple taking on approximately 90 of their employees, including several designers and engineers.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles had found that Apple and Uber placed far behind the Google spinoff in terms of "miles per disengagement", a rating of self-driving safety.

Apple has been testing self-driving Lexus vehicles in California but hasn't publicly clarified whether it is focused on building its own Apple-branded auto or software development.

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