Apple Inc acquires self-driving car startup Drive.ai

The acqui-hire will bring engineering talent to Apple’s own efforts at self-driving technology.

Apple Inc has confirmed that it has acquired Drive.ai, a self-driving shuttle startup.

Earlier this month, media reports had emerged that Apple was considering the acquisition of the firm as a move to bring aboard some of its engineering talent to boost Apple’s own self-driving efforts.

Drive.ai, is one of the hundreds startups pursuing autonomous vehicles technology, that runs a small fleet of test shuttles in Texas, . Drive.ai had informed regulators that it plans on permanently closing its operations and lay off 90 people. The San Francisco Chronicle had earlier reported the closure.

In Silicon Valley, it is common for larger companies to acquire struggling startups primarily to hire their engineers, a move known in the industry as an “acqui-hire.”

Apple’s self driving moves faces competition from rivals such as Alphabet Inc’s Waymo.

In the past year, Apple has revamped its efforts, bringing former Tesla Inc engineering chief Doug Field to oversee the operation, which includes more than 5,000 workers. It is also working on key components such as sensors in addition to holding talks with potential suppliers.

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