For Apple and other tech behemoths that are diving into self-driving tech or have grand plans for their own cars, the push isn’t just about breaking into a new market — it’s about defending valuable turf, Bloomberg’s Reed Stevenson and Mark Gurman write. Americans were behind the wheel for 307.8 hours in 2016, or around six hours a week, according to the latest available data from the American Automobile Association. That’s a fair bit of time not spent using iPhone apps or searching on Google.
“Even for companies like Apple and Google, this is a massive market,” said Raj Rajkumar, who leads the robotics institute at Carnegie Mellon University. “CFOs and CEOs literally drool, since first movers are likely to have a major edge. Each of these companies wants to be the predator, and not become the prey.”