If You Doubt Apple, Inc.'s Interest in Cars, Think Again

By Motley Fool Staff Markets Fool.com

News of Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) Project Titan has died down in the past year, but the tech giant is still tangibly interested in the advancement of autonomous car technology.

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In this clip from Industry Focus: Tech, Motley Fool analyst Dylan Lewis and contributor Daniel Sparks explain what we knowabout Apple's interest in self-driving cars. Also, they discuss what investors need to keep in mind when looking at this new and exciting space.

A full transcript follows the video.

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Dylan Lewis: If you had any doubts about Apple's interest in making self-driving cars,I think Tim Cook has been pretty coyin some public interviews about not really letting in on a lot of details, being a little cagey, the company sent a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationregarding Federal Automated Vehicle Policyearlier this month. And it made it pretty clearthey have something cooking there. The NHTSA can grantexemptions to certain compliance standardsif that organization decides that it's important for research andinvestigations. Apple's letterwasessentially urging the administrationto expedite the exemption requests that are coming in from some new entrants, so, somepeople that maybe haven't been quite as ambitious as the early entrants intoautonomous driving. That,I think, says all you need to hear about their interest in this space,and the fact that it's something that they'reobviously putting a decent number of resources into.

Daniel Sparks:Yeah, I think that Apple isdefinitely working on a car,as far as we can tell. Recent reports suggestthat the company hashundreds of employees working on it. The transition, initially, it was referred to as Project Titan, and itinitially transitioned away from building a car --this is all speculation, keep in mind -- to really focusingon the technology, similar to Alphabet. The rumor is, now,it's going to be deeply integrated into iOS, and the company is looking for a 2017 deadline of proof of concept of something that can work. So,Alphabet and Apple, these are stillreally speculative things. But,at least with Alphabet, we're starting to see a direction, an actual company, and an effort to monetize the business, which is encouraging.

Lewis:Andfor both of those companies, these are things that are exciting. They'revery attractive, they'refun to speculate on because they are nascent tech. But they are not going to be meaningful to the top line or bottom line for quite some time. That's something to keep in mind there.

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Daniel Sparks owns shares of Apple. Dylan Lewis owns shares of Alphabet (A shares) and Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A and C shares), and Apple. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2018 $90 calls on Apple and short January 2018 $95 calls on Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.