Apple to acquire Drive.ai
Apple (AAPL) seems to be accelerating its self-driving car project. Earlier today, The Information reported that Apple is seeking to acquire the California-based autonomous car technology company Drive.ai. The report suggested that Apple wants the engineering talent of Drive.ai on its self-driving car project.
How could the acquisition help Apple?
Drive.ai was founded in 2015, and it currently runs self-driving, on-demand shuttle services in Texas at a small scale. According to CrunchBase data, the company has raised $77 million so far. New Enterprise Associates, Nvidia GPU Ventures, and Northern Light Venture Capital are some of the lead investors in Drive.ai.
Drive.ai reportedly started looking for buyers for the company in February 2019 due to financial challenges and a recent drop in its on-paper valuation.
Is Apple speeding up its car project?
This news comes slightly over four months after Apple reduced its workforce from its self-driving car project by 200. In January, an Apple spokesperson told CNBC, “As the team focuses their work on several key areas for 2019, some groups are being moved to projects in other parts of the company, where they will support machine learning and other initiatives, across all of Apple.”
After facing a consistent decline in its iPhone sales over the last couple of quarters, Apple once again seems to be bringing its focus back to the self-driving car project.
Steve Jobs’ dream to work on a car project
Interestingly, Apple’s co-founder and former CEO, Steve Jobs, explained his enthusiasm for working on an Apple car project with the New York Times’ John Markoff.
If Apple does acquire Drive.ai, it could come closer to realizing Steve Jobs’ dream car project.
Today at 3:53 PM ET, Apple stock was up 1.5% for the day at $185.16. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index and NASDAQ Composite Index were trading with 0.8% and 0.6% gains, respectively.