clock menu more-arrow no yes

Elon Musk: Google won't compete with Tesla on self-driving cars — but Apple will

Though he said it may be too late for Apple.

Asa Mathat

As Tesla moves deeper into autonomous car tech, its CEO, Elon Musk, sees one tech giant as a potential competitor — and another as not.

It's probably not what you think.

"Google's done a great job at showing the potential of autonomous transport, but they're not a car company," Musk said Wednesday night at the Code Conference. "So they'd potentially license to other companies."

"I wouldn't say they're a competitor," he added.

What about Apple?

"Yeah," Musk replied. "That'll be more direct."

He added a caveat. Musk said that the iPhone maker, which has been incredibly secretive about its car plans, may be too late to the development of autonomous vehicles to be a big threat.

"I'd think there will be volume production no sooner than 2020," he said about Apple. "Is that too late?"

Previously, Musk dubbed Apple as a "Tesla graveyard" in response to the defection of Tesla employees to Apple.

At Code, Musk had this to say about Apple's car ambitions: "I think it's great they're doing this, and I hope it works out."

Our signature events sell out quickly. Sign up for our mailing list.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.