Smart Self Driving Shuttle Service Startup Company Acquired And Closed By Apple
Apple Inc, One of the wealthiest tech companies the world has ever known, has just bought a self-driving shuttle service based in Arlington Texas. Only later they decided to close it down. Drive.ai was developing a small fleet of autonomous vehicles. In layman’s terms, Drive.ai intended to offer a self-driving taxi service. The company developed artificial intelligence software as the core of it’s self-driving technology.
Apple, yes the makers of the iPhone and iPad, became interested and moved quickly to buy the fledgling company. Apple isn’t interested in the actual taxi/shuttle business. The real interest is in the software and the engineers who developed the Drive.ai systems.
Not long after being acquired by Apple Drive.ai confirmed to California regulators that it plans to close down its operations and lay off 90 people. Tech giants buying tech minnows is an example of the big fish eating the little fish.
Bill Gates, during his time as boss of Microsoft, was infamous in buying and shutting down software companies that could challenge his company. Apple is following Microsoft’s rule book before a competitor does the same.
Apple was developing a self-driving vehicle, but the real value, the profit motive is developing software. Developing software is much more profitable than developing hardware, such as a car with all its complex components.
For Apple, developing self-driving software and sensor components is a way of infiltrating the automotive industry in what is a very lucrative market. The vehicle automation software and component technology market will be worth trillions of dollars.