A mental game played through a very frazzled end-of-semester consciousness and a few pints of IPA:
So we all generally know and accept that Apple is working on a (whole) car at this point. We can further guess that they're on the autonomy bandwagon because, well, that's that kind of thing right now, like it or not.
We also know with more certainty that Apple is sitting on an absolutely ridiculous pile of cash which it prefers to keep overseas because of US tax laws.
News item today: Apple and China's largest ride-sharing/car-hailing service, Didi Chuxing, have entered a billion-dollar partnership. (Lest you think that ride-hailing in China is some marginal entity, Didi Chuxung's customer base is about the same size as the population of the United States.)
Among the platitudes about learning more about the Chinese market and effective corporate goodwill, put the three pieces together:
How crazy is it to think that Apple could be planning to use its cash reserves to create a massive fleet of autonomous ride-sharing vehicles specifically to dominate the Chinese (and perhaps in time Indian, and so on) mobility market?