Tim Cook has stoked interest in the Apple self-driving car project anew with a recent pronouncement that could indicate how the company still remains committed to building autonomous cars.

In answer to press queries during the fourth quarter 2016 earnings call, for example, Cook intimated that the company has nothing new to announce. But in a veiled rejoinder, he outlined Apple's interest in the autonomous vehicle and how it will form part of the iPhone maker's future.

"I can't speak about rumors, but as you know, we look for ways we can improve the experience and the customer's experience on different sets of products," Cook told the gaggle of reporters. "We're always looking at new things and the car space is an area where it's clear there are a lot of technologies that will become available ... or will be able to revolutionize the car experience."

Project Titan

The statement is particularly interesting for the tech world because of recent developments within the department leading Apple's autonomous car ambition. Project Titan - the name that insiders call Apple's autonomous car initiative - has reportedly shifted its focus from hardware to software development.

Tech Times has even reported early this October that an Apple Car is no longer happening in the foreseeable future, as the Project Titan team has been undergoing a massive reorganization with possibly hundreds of employees getting the pink slip soon.

The same report also noted how the powers-that-be at Apple have given the autonomous car team a 2017 deadline to prove the feasibility of an Apple self-driving vehicle. It is expected that the company could permanently pull the plug if the team failed to argue its case.

Revolutionizing The Car Experience

There are some sources, however, who point out that Cook could only be talking about software when he briefly touched on Apple's aim of revolutionizing the car experience. This seems to make sense especially when one considers how he referred to the car space with a lot of technologies that can drive new experiences.

From this standpoint, Cook could be looking at developing components for autonomous cars such as software and dashboard technologies. This at least has been corroborated by the fact that Apple has recently hired top talents who are known to be involved in developing software for automous vehicles.

Still, there are fans who are still hoping to see an Apple self-driving car. For this crowd, Cook's statement seems a validation because Apple saw an uptick in research and development spending in the past quarters. Some speculations argue that this certainly involves a major project, which could probably be an electric car.

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