Apple Inc has confirmed that it has acquired self-driving start-up company Drive.ai.

Reports suggest the company was once valued at USD200m and suggests that the tech giant is still pursuing its autonomous car project - Project Titan. Software engineers from the start-up have reportedly been transferred over to Apple to bolster its project.

Drive.ai had been running a small fleet of test shuttles (based on Nissan NV200 vans) in the US state of Texas, but was recently experiencing financial difficulties, reports say, and has been talking to several potential acquirers. Drive.ai recently filed a notice with the state of California that it planned to close its business and lay off 90 workers, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Drive.ai said it offered one of the US's first self-driving on-demand services open to the general public. Beginning October 2018, Drive.ai operate near the Dallas Cowboys stadium, the Texas Rangers stadium, Arlington Convention Center, CenterPoint office complex, and surrounding areas as part of the city's transportation technology program. It said the geo-fenced nature of its concept reduced the technical problems associated with other driverless test. Pick-ups and drop-offs happen at designated stops - the vehicles wait to be called via an app and are painted bright orange; they also only operated in daylight areas, part of the 'keeping it simple' philosophy.

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