The news follows a statement on Friday, in which South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Company confirmed that it’s in early talks with Apple concerning the future production of an autonomous electric car. The news sent Hyundai stock skyward, even though the company later corrected that no decisions – or deals – have been made.
Talks of a so-called ‘Apple Car’ have been circulating for years now, with reports ranging from an actual vehicle produced by Apple to self-driving software offered to pre-existing car manufacturers — in a somewhat similar vein to Apple’s CarPlay.
More recently, it’s appeared that Apple is keen to partner with an existing car manufacturer in order to bring a new electric vehicle to market – one that’s powered by autonomous driving software developed in-house by Apple, aided by a few acquisitions.
The latest report landed on Sunday from local newspaper Korea IT News (via Reuters) claiming that an Apple-Hyundai partnership deal could be signed by March 2021, with production beginning in the United States around 2024.
The original report included further details, claiming that the companies plan to build the cars either at Kia Motors’ existing facility in Georgia or to invest jointly in a new facility. Kia Motors is a subsidiary of Hyundai. The report added that the companies would aim to produce 100,000 vehicles by 2024 – with a full annual capacity of 400,000 vehicles – and that a ‘beta version’ of the car could arrive as early as next year. However, the article was since updated to remove these finer details.
For now, it’s looking like an autonomous electric car from Apple is becoming closer to reality, especially in the wake of Tesla’s ongoing success. We’re also expecting Apple to partner up with an existing car manufacturer, though the exact partner – along with the car’s production timeframe – remains to be seen.