FREMONT, CA – SEPTEMBER 29: Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during an event to launch the new Tesla Model X Crossover SUV on September 29, 2015 in Fremont, California. After several production delays, Elon Musk officially launched the much anticipated Tesla Model X Crossover SUV. The (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Apple CEO Tim Cook has for the first time confirmed that the company is functioning on self-directed driving expertise, Bloomberg reports. When inquired regarding the tech giant’s purpose in the automotive field throughout a topical Bloomberg Television meeting, Cook said that the company is “focusing on autonomous structure.”

Cook implicited that there are applications for Apple’s expertise moreover powering self-driving cars: “Obviously one function of self-sufficient systems is self-driving cars,” he said. “There are others.”

The exposure comes after gossips have dispersed for years about Apple’s tactics to enlarge more intensely into the car market. The project, said to be called Project Titan, was supposedly started in 2014. Earlier news, such as one from The Wall Street Journal, optional that Apple was setting up to enlarge its own electric car by 2019. But late last year, Bloomberg detailed that the company controlled its hub to the fundamental technology that powers self-driving cars, rather than building its individual vehicle from graze.

Apple is functioning on the “sovereign systems” behind driverless cars, Chief Executive Tim Cook said in an conference published by Bloombergon Tuesday, in his most comprehensive remarks regarding the company’s enigmatic strategies.


Speaking to Bloomberg in an interview availabled on Tuesday, Cook inveterate that Apple is functioning on “autonomous systems” for cars. Cook, who didn’t convoluted on Apple‘s work, would barely say that he thinks self-driving car technology is “very significant” to his company.

For years, Apple (AAPL, +0.81%) has stayed tight-lipped as gossips have whirled, saying the company is operationg on car technology. Originally, market watchers conjectured that Apple was running on its personal car. The vehicle would come through self-driving car technology and perhaps hit the road inside the subsequently few years.

Last year, though, gossips happened to facade that recommended Apple had stimulated on from the automaker procedure and would as an alternative focus on vehicle expertise. Earlier this year, the California Department of Motor Vehicles awarded Apple a permit to test self-driving cars on the state’s roads, providing even further reliability to the news.

In spite of Apple demanding to keep its project beneath censorship, some of its test cars have been speckled. A white Lexus RX450h SUV was seen in April generous a number of sensors and cameras. That similar month, the California Department of Motor Vehicles granted Apple permission to test autonomous cars on roads something like the situation.

Cook’s observations mirror a letter that it proposed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) towards the ending of last year regarding its car tactics, which also provided a huge suggestion that software was the main spotlight.

“The company is spending greatly in the study of machine learning and computerization, and is thrilled concerning the impending of programmed systems in many regions, together with hauling,” Apple said in a letter dated Nov. 22.

Cook was also optimistic concerning the forecast for electric vehicles, a market which last week assisted Tesla Inc. become the world’s fourth-biggest carmaker by market capitalization, even as it lines well external the top 10 by unit sales.

“It’s an excellent practice not to discontinue at the filling station or the gas station,” Cook said.

Apple invested $1 billion last year in Didi Chuxing, the major Chinese ride-hailing service. The declaration came soon after Mansfield took over Project Titan and set regarding cutting hundreds of engineers. While Apple had originally been constructing its personal car, Mansfield scrap those strategies in support of building an self-sufficient driving system. The company will make a verdict on whether to carry on with the shove later this year, the people said at the time.

Apple executives have implied at the company’s awareness in the past. Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, called the car “the eventual mobile device” in a 2015 interview at Recode’s Code meeting, for example.

Cook’s explanation come as companies like Alphabet’s Waymo and Uber are too chasing to create themselves as leaders in the rising self-directed vehicle market, which could be worth $7 trillion by 2050, according to a report from Intel and plan Analytics. It also comes at a time when Silicon Valley companies are running to struggle in the worthwhile and mushrooming field of artificial intelligence, which Cook called a essential part of self-driving car growth.

“We sort of see it as the protector of all AI projects,” Cook said throughout the Bloomberg interview. “It’s most likely one of the most complicated A.I. projects to in fact work on.”