A report from Reuters, released in December 2020, said that Apple was moving forward with its self-driving auto program with a goal to deliver a passenger vehicle with its own breakthrough battery technology as early as 2024. Indications for a while, prior to then, was that Apple wasn't making a standalone auto, but was developing technology that would be used to partner with other manufacturers.
Earlier today, Bloomberg said Apple is working to release a branded self-driving vehicle, though production is at least five years out. According to Bloomberg, it will be at least five to seven years before an Apple Car is ready to launch.
If such a partnership was to proceed, Philip Beil, senior vice-president for transportation and mobility at consultancy firm Publicis Sapient, said it would make sense for both Apple and Hyundai.
"Apple could see Hyundai as an ideal partner, because when it comes to legacy USA automakers, they all have strong unions, which Apple would like to avoid", said Kevin Yoo, an analyst at eBEST Investment & Securities. This sent Hyundai shares surging by $9 billion in the Seoul exchange after a cable TV unit of Korea Economic Daily initially reported on the talks. The news boosted Hyundai's shares by 20 percent.
Apple was indeed in discussions with many global automakers, including Hyundai Motor.
It was unclear if Apple was in talks with other automakers on vehicle development as well.
"We've been receiving requests for potential cooperation from various companies regarding development of autonomous EVs", the latest version said. Group company Kia Motors' shares soared 14%, and parts maker Hyundai Mobis surged almost 30%. The California-based company has spread out to several countries and just fell short of delivering half a million cars previous year - something that was laughed at when first mentioned by CEO Elon Musk. "No decisions have been made as discussions are in early stages", Hyundai said in a regulatory filing.
Some of the other electric vehicle manufacturers Apple would rival include Lucid Motors, Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG.
Apple has been working on several new technologies at the moment but the much-rumored Apple Car is getting everyone's attention for the past few weeks.
Project Titan, which is the name given to Apple's initiative to produce an automobile, was reportedly first approved by CEO Tim Cook six years ago.