Apple has now confirmed that they have acquired a self-driving car startup. This startup, named as Drive.ai, has a very interesting story. It has been revealed that the startup which was previously valued at $200 million was about to go bust. Reportedly, the startup was about to lay off all of its employees and close the doors for the public. However, Apple confirmed to The Verge that they have acquired this startup.
There were reports at the beginning of this month that Apple is in talks with Drive.ai. However, there were no confirmed reports from Apple or Drive.ai regarding the talks. This company was founded back in 2015 and it has been operating since then. It was started by machine learning researchers from the Stanford University and they were running ride-hailing and autonomous shuttles in Texas.
With the acquisition, it means that dozens of engineers from Drive.ai will join Apple’s Project Titan which is not particularly successful either. Before news of the acquisition, Drive.ai had filed a notice that it intends to close permanently while laying off its 90 employee staff. It is known that Drive.ai was believed to be the most promising startup out there with use of deep learning to avoid obstacles on the road.
Some reports suggest that Apple might have not purchased the entire startup and rather pulled engineers away from Drive.ai. This means that startup will still lay off its employees on Friday, technically. However, the other reports suggest that Apple has purchased the company’s assets along with its autonomous cars too.
At the moment, it is not known what Apple had to shell out for the acquisition of Drive.ai. However, the filing for shutting down and laying off employees would have dearly cost the startup which was once valued at $200 million. Both Apple and Drive.ai spokesperson declined to comment on money involved in this deal.