Chief executive’s comments are the latest suggestion that Apple is preparing to make further strides into the car industry

Tim Cook did not comment on numerous rumours and reports that Apple is preparing to build its own car, but suggested that it could make further strides into the market beyond its current, limited, efforts.

“It would seem like there will be massive change in that industry, massive change,” Cook said at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJDLive conference in California. “You may not agree with that. That’s what I think.

“When I look at the automobile, what I see is that software becomes an increasingly important part of the car of the future. You see that autonomous driving becomes much more important.”

His comments come after widespread reports that Apple is preparing to follow fellow tech giant Google in developing a self-driving or electric car. It is reportedly preparing to put one on sale as early as 2019, but safety and testing regulations mean it would have to make such plans public well before then.

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