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Apple Reportedly in Talks to Buy Sensors for Self-Driving Cars

Apple is negotiating to buy sensors for self-driving cars, a media report says. The tech titan for some years has been working on an autonomous-vehicle project.
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Apple  (AAPL)  is negotiating with several sellers of self-driving-car sensors about purchasing their wares, a media report says.

Knowledgeable sources told Bloomberg of the talks. The Cupertino, Calif., tech titan for some years has been working on an autonomous-vehicle project, the news service reported. 

Apple had discussions with Hyundai Motor and its Kia Motors subsidiary about manufacturing electric cars, but those talks have broken off, according to media reports this month.

The sensors Apple is looking at enable a car’s computer to see its surroundings, the Bloomberg sources said. 

It has “developed on its own most of the necessary software, underlying processors and artificial intelligence algorithms needed for such a sophisticated system,” according to Bloomberg. 

The news service said that a finished sensor product likely won’t be ready for a few years.

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Sensor-maker shares advanced on the Apple news. Velodyne Lidar VLDR recently traded at $21.57, up 3.2%, and Luminar Technologies  (LAZR)  was at $34.15, up 4%.

Apple stock recently traded at $129.97, 0.2% higher. 

Earlier Friday, Bloomberg reported that Apple was working on a magnetically attached battery pack for the newest iPhones that would wirelessly charge the handsets.

Morningstar analyst Abhinav Davuluri has mixed views on Apple, putting fair value at $98. 

“We are raising our fair-value estimate for narrow-moat Apple to $98 per share from $85, as we incorporate a stronger near-term outlook due to the current 5G iPhone cycle and ongoing work- and learning-from-home dynamics bolstering Mac and iPad segments,” he wrote in a commentary last month.

“Nonetheless, we think [the] shares are currently overvalued, as we think recent growth trends could be unsustainable past 2021.”