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Apple CEO Tim Cook confirms self-driving cars project

Apple's work is said to be focused on software systems but the CEO refused to rule out the company manufacturing its own car.

By James Nunns

Apple CEO Tim Cook has confirmed that the company is working on autonomous car systems.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV the CEO said: “We’re focusing on autonomous systems.

“It’s a core technology that we view as very important. We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects,” said Cook.

The company has long been rumoured as being involved in looking at autonomous cars, whether that is taking the Google approach of building the entire car or developing certain systems for it.  Apple CEO

Cook said: “It’s probably one of the most difficult AI projects actually to work on.”

The self-driving car industry could mean big business for the likes of Apple and Google, which has been at the forefront of pushing the technology forward. McKinsey research estimates that the market could be worth $6.7 trillion by 2030.

Apple’s initial foray into the field is said to have been under the name Project Titan, which saw the company hire more than 1,000 engineers in 2014. However, the cost of the project and the growing number of staff led to Bob Mansfield taking over in 2016.

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The iPhone makers involvement in the sector has been a well known secret for years, partly due to snippets of public filings appearing and reports surfacing of the company securing a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles in April, this was to allow the company to test vehicles.

Read more: Self driving car push by Intel sees BMW tie-up and Autonomous Driving Garage

Cook told Bloomberg TV: “There is a major disruption looming there.”

“You’ve got kind of three vectors of change happening generally in the same time frame.”

Although Cook has finally confirmed many people’s suspicions that Apple is involved in self-driving cars, he was reluctant to say whether or not the company would actually manufacture its own car. “We’ll see where it takes us.” “We’re not really saying from a product point of view what we will do.”

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