Even though he thinks Apple started late on building a car, "I think they'll make a good car, and will be successful," he said.
In contrast, Google, a pioneer in developing autonomous vehicles, worries him less as a competitive threat. "Google's done a great job, but they're not a car company," he said.
Musk also elucidated comments he's made in the past about the potential dangers of artificial intelligence.
"Not all AI futures are benign," he said. In particular, the main danger is that highly evolved technology is exclusively used by a small handful of people to the detriment of humanity as a whole.
When asked if any company today runs the risk of using AI in this manner, Musk paused.
"I won't name names but there's only one."
There's a lot more coverage of the Code Conference at Recode.