Apple has long been secretly working on some sort of autonomous technology, keeping the project so tightly under wraps that interpretations of the company’s plans were, at the best of times, little more than vague and unverifiable rumors.
Tim Cook, the company’s chief executive, this week changed that through a revealing interview with Bloomberg. (Revealing, that is, by Apple standards.)
Cook told Bloomberg that Apple is “focusing on autonomous systems,” which is considers a “very important . . . core technology.”
Apple is far from the only company developing self-driving cars. Indeed, the list is long, ranging from tech firms (Alphabet, Uber) to traditional automakers, (Volvo, BMW) to those who operate in a gray area in between (Tesla). Little wonder as to why: while it may be a moonshot project today, if self-driving technology becomes viable, it could push the auto industry to a value of nearly $7 trillion by 2030, according to a forecast from McKinsey & Co.
Cook acknowledges there is “a major disruption looming,” but could not confirm whether Apple wants to build its own car or just develop the technology behind it.