Hyundai Motor confirms discussions with Apple over potential Apple Car production
With rumors continuing to suggest that Apple is putting its foot down on the development of its electric car project, internally known as “Project Titan,” car maker Hyundai has confirmed it is one of a variety of global automakers currently in discussions with Apple over the potential production of the new Apple-branded vehicle.
Korean site Korea Economic Daily was first to report on the rumored discussions, with Hyundai themselves later confirming the report within a statement to CNBC.
The self-driving electric vehicle, expected to rival Tesla, isn’t expected anytime before 2027 however, recently a flurry of reports have surfaced over Apple’s plans to produce its own cars. It is understood that Apple will use existing car manufacturers, such as Hyundai, to produce the new vehicle and leverage their supply chain and manufacturing facilities.
“We understand that Apple is in discussion with a variety of global automakers, including Hyundai Motor.
As the discussion is at its early stage, nothing has been decided.”
— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) January 8, 2021
Just before the holidays Reuters claimed Apple had successfully developed a new battery design that would “radically” reduce the cost of the electric car batteries as well as increasing the vehicle’s range, calling the car technology “next level,” and likening it to “the first time you saw the iPhone.”
Apple’s former Chief Design Officer, Jony Ive was reportedly working on designs for Apple’s long-rumored self-driving Apple Car before leaving the company in 2019, with reports at the time claiming Ive had been constructing an Apple Car prototype in the company’s design labs, which was constructed out of wood and leather to be presented to Apple CEO Tim Cook. The most visibly notable feature of the model, the report claimed, was that Ive insisted it should not have a steering wheel, with the electric vehicle relying heavily on voice-control.
Apple started poaching Tesla engineers almost five years ago for its automotive project. It is understood that since then, Apple had shifted its focus from building a car to developing autonomous vehicle software, but after various changes in its approach, the company is now said to have its sights back on releasing its own vehicle for consumers.
The vehicle is expected to have a strong focus on self-driving technology, but additional details are few and far between.