Apple and Uber Buy Startups to Further Automomous Car Aspirations

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Two large tech companies made big moves today to further their respective pushes into the world of self-driving vehicles.

Uber, which has been building towards growing a fleet of autonomous autos that will be transporting its ride-hailing customers, announced it has acquired Seattle based startup Mighty Al, which makes training data for computer vision models, which is likely to find its way into Uber’s autonomous auto fleet.

Uber gets Mighty Al’s intellectual property, talent and gear. It’s 40 employees will now be working for Uber exclusively, meaning Mighty Al’s existing clients, including Samsung, Siemens and Microsoft, will need to find a new autonomous auto partner.

Terms for this deal were not disclosed.

Meanwhile, Uber’s tech counterpart in Cupertino, CA, Apple, made its own autonomous vehicle related buy, according to Axios. The company has reportedly purchased Drive.ai, which offers a kit that turns a regular car into a self driving car.

The deal will net Apple “dozens” of Drive.ai engineers, product designers and its physical plant, which Drive.ai’s owners were shopping around for sale when Apple bought it. Apple has been rumored to be launching its brand of driverless autos for some time.

Neither Apple nor Drive.ai have confirmed the purchase.

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