Apple purchases self-driving startup Drive.ai

Apple is purchasing self-driving startup Drive.ai, an acquisition that will bolster the firm’s own efforts to develop autonomous technology amid competition from Google and traditional carmakers like General Motors.

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The transaction by the Mountain View, California-based tech behemoth, confirmed by Apple to numerous outlets, comes just days before Drive.ai was reportedly planning to lay off 90 workers and shutter its operations.

Apple did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request for comment.

Drive.ai has been testing its self-driving shuttles in Texas, but it has struggled in recent months as competition to develop autonomous technology intensifies.

Investors are pouring billions of dollars into efforts by historic auto manufacturers, like General Motors, as well as efforts by Google and others.

Because the technology is likely to take decades to mature, companies are seeking to partner with competitors to help shoulder some of the financial burdens.

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Google’s Waymo, for example, recently announced a partnership with Nissan and Renault on self-driving vehicles.