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Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘Massive Change’ Is Coming to the Auto Industry

Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the automotive industry is at the precipice of "massive change"—though he stopped short of saying whether the world's most valuable company would play a role in that transformation.

Cook enumerated ways that the modern descendants of the Model-T would be shaken to the very chassis—the growing importance of software in the car of the future, the rise of autonomous vehicles, and the shift from an internal combustion engine to electrification.

"It would seem like there will be massive change in that industry, massive change," Cook said on Monday night at the Wall Street Journal's WSJDLive conference at The Montage resort in Laguna Beach, Calif. "You may not agree with that. That's what I think."

Cook, who was interviewed onstage by WSJ executive editor, Gerard Baker, declined to respond to published reports that Apple is developing an electric car that might hit the road as soon as 2019. Cook said that, in the short term, Apple is working to bring the "iPhone experience" to the vehicle through CarPlay, its in-dash system that creates a way for users to access their iTunes music collections or get driving directions from its mapping software without touching their phones.

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