Drive.ai is a U.S tech company founded in 2015 and is headquartered in California. They use artificial intelligence to create self-driving systems for motor vehicles. The company’s initial funding venture was supported by Northern Light Venture Capital, Oriza Ventures, and InnoSpring Seed Fund. At the moment they’ve raised roughly $77 million in funding.
An article from The Information suggests that Apple might now be seeking to acquire the startup. The report indicates that the purchase is still in process. It will apparently be an “acqui-hire”, meaning that the main objective will be to have Drive.ai employees on-board, with the majority of attention placed on the engineering staff of the autonomous vehicle firm.
A bit of Drive.ai history
Drive.ai was brought together four years ago by a team of graduate and PhD students at the Artificial Intelligence Lab of Stanford University. Their initial concentration was on the effective automation of the driving systems, as well as the high-end communications systems programmed to aid the self-driving cars to improve integration with human drivers and pedestrians. In 2018 they began putting their autonomous pick-up drop-off service to the test in Frisco, Texas. Earlier this year, the company reportedly began looking for potential buyers. This was after they realized their funding and independent functionality could be diminishing.
Looking to the future
Apple hasn’t had the greatest track record involving autonomous driving, with some leadership changes on their Titan project (the electric car project still in the research and development stage), however, their plans are not completely obvious just yet. Neither Apple nor Drive.ai have disclosed enough information to confirm any dates, projects, or future plans. Regardless, it seems like it could be an exciting venture considering everything Apple has brought to the tech industry so far, as well as the recent increased interest in vehicle autonomy overall.