Tim Cook recently confirmed that Apple is developing automated systems for self driving cars. Apple's entry into the space is late, considering Waymo and Tesla already have a leg up. Apple does not make the core technologies for autonomous vehicles such as Delphi or MobilEye. Apple does not make the hardware to power the AI algorithms on self driving cars such as Intel or NVIDIA. Apple does not have an auto manufacturing heritage such as BMW, Ford or Toyota.
Apple is clearly at a disadvantage here. One of the most crucial components that make self driving cars possible, is voluminous amounts of data. BMW is collecting the data needed for its autonomous vehicles through a partnership with MobilEye. Toyota, Stanford and MIT are together creating a blockchain based solution for easy sharing of data between self driving car companies and component manufacturers. Volvo is conducting drive tests in Sweden to collect the much needed Data.
Apple will need to address the pain point of data collection to meet its self-driving car goals. One of the ways Apple can do this, says the analyst, is through negotiating a deal with Tesla, which has been collecting data since 2003. Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas told Business Insider that buying out or partnering with Tesla is one of the solutions available to Apple. Partnering with one of the most mature self-driving car companies in the market will give Apple the leg up it needs.