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Apple Reportedly Looking To Acquire Drive.ai

Apple CEO Tim Cook
image: Apple

Not long ago, driverless car company Drive.ai was reported to be seeking a buyer. Now, a new report from The Information says Apple is looking to be that buyer. The report says Apple is in the process of acquiring Drive.ai, a popular but struggling startup in the autonomous vehicle industry. According to The Information, the deal is more of an "acqui-hire", a term used to signify when a company is purchased mainly for its talent and not its business.

Apple may be looking to boost its development of an autonomous vehicle team by adding Drive.ai's engineers. The driverless car startup (last valued at roughly $200 million) previously hired investment bank Jefferies as an adviser for a sale. Drive.ai has raised $77 million in total funding according to Crunchbase data.

Apple Vice President, Hardware Engineering, John Ternus.
image: Apple

Drive.ai -- a top name in the driverless car industry -- was founded in 2015 by a group of graduate students out of Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab. The company has more than 150 employees at offices in Mountain View, California, and Frisco, Texas.

Apple's autonomous vehicle operations have been quite secretive, with no clear word on its direction in this space. Earlier this year, the company laid off 190 employees, mostly engineers, from its autonomous vehicle team. Apple was also previously reported to have held talks with at least four potential lidar sensor suppliers for its driverless vehicles.



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