A new report suggests that Apple's recent investment in Chinese ride-sharing service Didi Chuxing is at least in part about Apple's reported car ambitions. It's thought that the service could provide Apple with data that can be used in the creation of a self-driving car.

Apple may get data for rumored car project out of Did Chuxing investment

From The Wall Street Journal:

Didi provides Apple with a rich data source for its self-driving vehicle push. It also could provide benefits to Apple's mobile ecosystem. Ride-sharing apps are closely linked to payment services, such as Apple Pay. They also can be the foundation for other mobile commerce transactions such as deliveries.

Apple has been reported to be making an electric car for some time now. The vehicle project is said to have a team of over 1,000 employees, with the car set for a debut as early as 2020.

The company announced its $1 billion investment in Didi Chuxing on Thursday, though the company did not elaborate on the reason for the investment. Other Didi investors include Chinese companies Alibaba and Tencent.