UPDATE 1-Apple studies self-driving car, auto industry source says

Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:40pm EST
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* Apple exploring how to build whole vehicle, source says

* Car technology now a focus for Silicon Valley

* Apple gathering advice on electric and connected-car technology

* Self-driving car likely to emerge in stages (wraps in reports on Apple plans for electric car, adds material from source)

By Edward Taylor and Alexei Oreskovic

FRANKFURT/SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Technology giant Apple is looking beyond mobile devices to learn how to make a self-driving electric car, and is talking to experts at carmakers and automotive suppliers, a senior auto industry source familiar with the discussions said on Saturday.

The Cupertino, California-based maker of phones, computers and, soon, watches is exploring how to make an entire vehicle, not just designing automotive software or individual components, the auto industry source said.

"They don't appear to want a lot of help from carmakers," said the source, who declined to be named.

Apple is gathering advice on parts and production methods, focusing on electric and connected-car technologies, while studying the potential for automated driving, the source said.   Continued...