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Apple buys self-driving car startup Drive.ai

Self-driving technology has been gaining a lot of momentum off lately. It seems that Apple is quite serious about bringing its own autonomous car to the market. The Cupertino-based tech giant has acquired Drive.ai an autonomous driving startup.

Founded by Machine Learning (ML) researchers from Stanford University in 2015, Drive.ai was running a ride-hailing service in partnership with City of Arlington, Texas. The startup applies deep learning technology to vehicles in order to understand and avoid objects on the road.

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According to news reports, the self-driving startup, which is currently not operational, was looking to get acquired for sometime now and Apple has taken the chance to expand its business by buying them.

Last year, Drive.ai was seen as one of the most-promising startups in self-driving cars when they tested the vehicles on fixed-route without human safety drivers.

Speaking of competitors, one of Apple’s biggest rivals in the field of self-driving technology is Alphabet, Inc.’s Waymo, which has been making steady progress in this context. As a matter of fact, Waymo recently formed an alliance with Renault and Nissan to equip commercial vehicles in France and Japan with its self-driving software. In addition to that, Waymo’s driverless technology has also made its way on to the Jaguar I-Pace under the purview of its partnership with the British luxury carmaker.

Earlier this year, Apple laid off 190 employees from its self-driving car division as part of some restructuring. At that time it was assumed that the company is planning to put its self-driving car project on hold for sometime.

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