Apple is reportedly trying to buy the self-driving startup to help it take on rivals like Waymo and Tesla in robo-taxis

Apple CEO Tim Cook. Getty

Apple is working to acquire the autonomous-vehicle startup, The Information‘s Amir Efrati and Alex Heath reported.

The prospective deal could reportedly end with dozens of’s engineers working for Apple. was founded in 2015 and has been testing a small number of self-driving shuttles in Texas. The startup has raised $US77 million so far, according to Pitchbook, and has been looking for a buyer this year, The Information reported in February.

Apple declined Business Insider’s request for comment. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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An autonomous shuttle operated by

According to The New York Times, Apple has been quietly working on autonomous-driving technology since 2014 but has narrowed the project’s scope from building electric self-driving cars to creating the technology for an autonomous shuttle to be used by its employees. Apple’s autonomous-vehicle team is led in part by Doug Field, a former vice president of engineering at Tesla.

The research and consulting firm Navigant placed Apple last in its 2019 ranking of companies developing autonomous-driving technology. The firm evaluated 20 companies based on criteria like strategy and execution.

In a report submitted to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Apple said its safety drivers had to manually take over their autonomous test cars, because of safety concerns, about once every 1.1 miles in 2018, far behind autonomous-driving leaders like the Google spinoff Waymo and the General Motors-backed Cruise, which reported disengagements about once every 11,000 miles and once every 5,200 miles, respectively.

Read The Information’s full story here »