Tim Cook Says Apple Is Working on 'the Mother of All AI Projects'
Apple still isn't making any promises about whether it will release a self-driving car in the future, but the company's CEO Tim Cook recently acknowledged that the company is working on the brains of one.
During an interview with Bloomberg Television's Emily Chang at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference on June 5, Tim Cook said the Cupertino tech giant is currently working on what it believes to be "the mother of all AI projects."
"You've said cars are an area ripe for disruption," Chang says. "How important is it that Apple not miss out on cars?"
"I think there is a major disruption looming there," Cook begins. "Not only for self-driving cars, but also the electrification piece. If you've driven an all-electric car it's actually a marvelous experience… Plus, you have ridesharing on top of this, so you've got… three vectors of change happening, generally, in the same time frame."
He goes on to say that Apple is "focusing on autonomous systems."
"Clearly one purpose of autonomous systems is self-driving cars," Cook says. "There are others."
He adds that "autonomy is something that's incredibly exciting for us, but we'll see where it takes us. We're not really saying, from a product point of view, what we will do, but we are being straightforward that it's a core technology that we view as very important."
Bloomberg in October reported that Apple had "drastically scaled back" its car team, cutting hundreds of jobs. Cupertino is now focused on creating software rather than an actual vehicle, Bloomberg said at the time, so it can potentially partner with existing carmakers. That followed a September report from the New York Times, which said Apple had "laid off dozens" of people as it cut back its car effort, dubbed Project Titan.