As Apple prepares for the release of the iPhone 8 in the fall, news came that Apple's latest project is a self-driving car. In one report, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple said that Apple would not build a self-driving car. In another report, he said that the car is a go and the mega corporation will focus on building and bringing a car to the market. In recent months, Apple has attempted to take on Google for market domination with its latest release of the Siri speakers.

Did Cook kill off the project?

ZD Net reported that in an interview Tim Cook gave to Bloomberg, Apple is not working on a self-driven car.

Cook said that the company is focusing on autonomous systems. Cook was unclear on whether the company had anything tangible for a product. Currently, the only thing Apple has in the car market is CarPlay, a headset for the iPhone. Cook referred to three vectors in the car market right now that included electric vehicles, like the ones made by Tesla, autonomous vehicles which included Google, and ride-hailing, which included Uber and Lyft. With the tenth anniversary debut of iPhone 8, Apple doesn't have a follow-up project to get investors excited.

Apple's massive AI project

Extreme Tech reported that Apple sees the self-driving car as a massive AI project. Apple became interested in self-driving cars in 2014.

The company named its project Titan and hired 1,000 engineers to work on the project and possibly the car. Instead of building a manufacturing plant, the company planned to farm out the manufacturing of the car to another car maker. Apple met with Daimler and BMW, but the talks didn't pan out. If Apple does decide to build a car, the company may choose Magna Steyr in Austria to build the car.

Steyr produces cars for other companies including Mercedes Benz. Producing a car also means choosing between gas and electric.

Analysts see the Artificial Intelligence produced by Apple having broader applications than just building a a self-driving car. Apple's focus on the software it is creating makes it unclear whether the company will ultimately build the car or use the software for other applications.

Cook indicated that Apple admired the work done by Tesla, and he said that it would be nice to not have to stop at the gas station. It took Tesla over a decade to make its cars profitable. Four years after making its car a roaring success, Tesla surpassed both Ford and GM in market value. Now Tesla is the fourth most valuable automaker by market cap.