Apple is joining the self-driving car race, but may need the help of a certain Elon Musk-owned marquee EV brand to do it.
As NextMobility recently reported, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the tech behemoth is working on the “mother” of all AI for autonomous vehicles. While Apple has technological know-how, it is behind competitors Uber, Tesla and Waymo in terms of having access to real-world driving data.
In a note sent out to clients, Adam Jonas, an analyst at financial research firm Morgan Stanley, recommended that Apple explore a partnership or an acquisition of Tesla, according to Markets Insider.
Tesla has accumulated billions of miles of driving data through its fleet learning program, and it’s this data that could fast-track Apple’s efforts into autonomous vehicles. Jonas estimates that if Apple were to go alone on this, the company would spend around $16 billion in research and development costs in the next four years, four times more than the $4 billion he expects Tesla will spend during the same timeframe.
“Each 1% share of the miles market at $1/mile (including the transport service and any related/ancillary revenue) is worth $200bn in revenue and potentially tens of billions of pretax profit,” Jonas wrote to clients.
Morgan Stanley’s analyst previously asked Musk if he could see an Apple-Tesla marriage in the future, to which Musk responded :
“I don’t think they want to have that conversation — there’s not been any indication that they do,” Musk said on the company’s earnings call. “But obviously, Apple’s company makes some great product … I use their phone and their laptop, it’s cool. I don’t know what they’re going to do on the car front.”