Hyundai Motor and Apple are in preliminary talks to develop a self-driving electric car, and a “beta” version could be available as soon as 2022, reporters Reuters. Cars would be assembled at the Kia Motor factories in Georgia, or a whole new facility would be created, and the plan would be to have 100,000 of these cars produced by 2024.
Initially, a representative from Hyundai Motor told CNBC that “Apple is in discussion with a variety of global automakers, including Hyundai Motor.” Afterward, though, another statement was provided but with a glaring absence of Apple or mention of any specific company by name: “We’ve been receiving requests of potential cooperation from diverse companies regarding development of autonomous driving EVs, but no decisions have been made as discussions are in an early stage.”
Per a note from Wedbush Securities analysts Daniel Ives and Strecker Backe, “Project Titan as it’s been known within the halls of Cupertino has ultimately been significantly scaled down from its initial ramp a few years ago and now appears to be front and center again on the radar screen of the Street.”
From as early as 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke with Bloomberg News about the company’s foray into the world of self-driving vehicles. At that time, he shared, “We’re focusing on autonomous systems. It’s a core technology that we view as very important. We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects. It’s probably one of the most difficult AI projects actually to work on.”
With this collaboration, Apple will also be applying its technology to give the car more miles per charge than its competitors. “with the introduction of a ‘monocell’ design that bulks up the individual cells in the battery and frees up space inside the battery pack to increase its longetivity.