Apple’s Tim Cook Sees Self-Driving Cars As “Mother Of All AI Projects”

Image courtesy of Håkan Dahlström

Ever since we heard the first whispers that Apple was working on some kind of car project, people have wondered whether the electronics company would actually produce a vehicle, or if it was focusing more on the technology side of things. Now we have an answer, straight from the mouth of CEO Tim Cook.

“We’re focusing on autonomous systems,” Cook told Bloomberg in an interview, calling it a “core technology” that is very important to the company.

“We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects,” Cook added, while acknowledging that it’s a tricky project to work on.

Though he didn’t say much, Cook had more to say about Apple’s work in the automotive field than the company has offered in the past: Last fall, reports indicated that Apple had refocused its “Project Titan” car team from building an electric car to developing an autonomous driving system. Apple declined to comment at that time.

Nor did it offer comment when the company appeared on the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ list of carmakers and tech companies approved to test autonomous vehicles in the state.

Is there a chance the company could build its own car someday? Cook didn’t shoot the idea down entirely in the interview, but just said, “We’ll see where it takes us.”