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Apple Car: why it might actually happen

Barry Collins
16 Feb 2015
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Reports suggest Apple has stepped up its efforts to deliver a self-driving car

Apple is ramping up plans to deliver a self-driving car, according to various reports. Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple has several hundred engineers currently working to deliver the company's first car. Now Reuters is reporting that Apple is talking to experts at automotive suppliers to help deliver its self-driven vehicle. 

Rumours about Apple entering the car market have been circling for over a year - although the same could be said for televisions and Google Glass-style headsets, both of which have failed to come to fruition. However, the two independent reports from leading news sources suggest there's some meat on the bones of this particular rumour. 

The Reuters report suggests Apple is looking to disrupt the car market in the same way it did the smartphone, delivering a unique product that's quite unlike anything on the market today. Reuters source said Apple wasn't seeking any help from existing car manufacturers. Instead, "Apple is interested in all the potential ways you can evolve the car; that includes autonomous driving," the source said.

Apple was last year linked with a possible takeover bid for electronic car maker, Tesla. The car maker's CEO, Elon Musk, was reported to have met Tim Cook for secret talks in 2013, however no deal has been forthcoming. Apple certainly isn't short of the funds required to buy Tesla, which is worth around $25 billion. Apple is sitting on a cash pile of $178 billion, having recently become the most profitable company ever. It could, frankly, buy almost any company it took a shine to.

Instead, it seems Apple is going to spend its money on an internal engineering effort to develop the car. The Wall Street Journal said Cook signed off on the plans to develop the car more than a year ago, and that the company plans to "give Tesla a run for its money". Apple has reportedly lured several Tesla engineers with lucrative pay deals. 

Apple certainly has some catching up to do if it does enter the self-driving car market. Aside from various initiatives from car manufacturers, Google has been developing its own autonomous vehicle for several years. Google's car has already undergone extensive live testing on roads in the US, although there's been no word yet of a full commercial launch. 

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