When it comes to the vehicles of the future, Apple plans to have apps for that.

The Cupertino, Calif. company reportedly is expected to ship its own electric car in four years. Speaking Monday at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.D Live event in Laguna Beach, Calif., Apple CEO Tim Cook didn’t offer specifics but did present his perspective.

“When I look at the automobile, I see that software becomes an incredibly important component of the car,” he said.

“You see autonomous driving becoming important in the future,” Cook said. “So a lot of the major technologies in the car shift from today’s combustion engine centric kind of focus, and so it would seem like there will be massive change in that industry.”

Beyond that, Cook was coy. “We look at a lot of things. Our model is to reduce that list to a few. We will see what we do in the future,” he said, according to the WSJ‘s live blog of the event. “I do think that industry is at an inflection point for massive change, not just evolutionary change.”

Apple’s move makes sense as technology in vehicles has developed into an arms-race competition in Silicon Valley. Google has been working on its autonomous car project for six years. And Tesla just last week sent an Autopilot upgrade to owners of its luxury cars, with features including auto steer, auto lane change and auto park.

Contributing: Jefferson Graham in Laguna Beach, Calif.

Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider

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