Apple buys more self-driving car technology in latest deal

CUPERTINO, Calif.—Apple has bought a struggling self-driving car startup as the iPhone maker continues to explore the potential market for robotic vehicles, despite recently curtailing its work on the technology.

Image: drive.ai

The Cupertino, California, company confirmed its acquisition of Drive.ai Wednesday without disclosing the price. A recent filing with California labour regulators disclosed that Drive.ai planned to close its doors this Friday, laying off 90 workers .

Apple didn’t say whether its deal included the engineers who were set to lose their jobs with Drive.ai. Apple trimmed the size of its own self-driving car division in January when it reportedly eliminated more than 200 jobs in the division.

The deal gives Apple the rights to Drive.ai technology deployed in self-driving vans that had been giving short-distance rides in two Texas cities, Arlington and Frisco.

Uber, meanwhile, confirmed Wednesday that it acquired a self-driving technology company called Mighty AI. As part of that deal, 40 employees from Mighty AI’s Seattle office will work at the ride-hailing giant’s Seattle engineering facility.