Skip to main content

Apple buying Drive․ai, says report, though Apple statement vaguer than usual

An unconfirmed report of Apple buying suggests the Cupertino company may be primarily interested in acquiring engineers from the self-driving startup.

However, a statement by Apple suggests that the deal is not certain …

The Information carries the report.

Apple is in the process of acquiring a well-known but struggling self-driving shuttle firm,, for its engineering talent in order boost Apple’s own development of a self-driving vehicle system, according to two people briefed about the situation.

The planned deal, described as an “acqui-hire” of the Silicon Valley firm by these people, could result in dozens of engineers ending up at Apple, one of the people said., which has been running small pilot programs of its prototype shuttles in Texas, began seeking buyers for the company as early as February, as previously reported by The Information.

Although Apple rarely comments on acquisitions, it does normally give a boilerplate reply which at least doesn’t deny reports: ‘Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.’

This time, however, it has said something different.

We don’t comment on speculation.

That suggests that, if the two companies are indeed in discussions, no agreement has yet been reached.

Apple’s self-driving car plans are still unclear. It has variously increased and decreased the number of engineers working in its autonomous driving division, known as Project Titan.

There have been a ridiculous number of competing rumors about the purpose of Project Titan, including:

The scale of Apple’s current self-driving car efforts has also varied, a recent DMV filing showing fewer Apple self-driving cars on the road.

Apple buying would indicate continued interest in the project, but still sheds no more light on its goals.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

MacStadium Private Cloud for Mac
You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:



Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

Ben Lovejoy's favorite gear