- cnbc reports that apple and hyundai-kia are close to finalizing a deal to build an autonomous apple car.
- the vehicle would be completely designed by apple and built at kia’s factory in west point, georgia.
- the self-driving autonomous vehicle would be built without a driver's seat and could potentially go into production in 2024.
update 2/8/21, 1:00 p.m. et: hyundai motor announced this morning that it is no longer in talks with apple to build the technology company's planned autonomous electric vehicle. after a month of talks between the two companies, it seems that the deal created a stir within hyundai's executive ranks over concerns about the automaker becoming a builder of apple products like foxconn. "we are receiving requests for cooperation in joint development of autonomous electric vehicles from various companies, but they are at early stage and nothing has been decided," the automaker said. "we are not having talks with apple on developing autonomous vehicles."
the courtship between apple and hyundai's kia to build an apple car seems to be progressing nicely. according to a report by cnbc, the two companies are close to finalizing a deal that would have kia building an electric, autonomous apple vehicle at a kia assembly plant in west point, georgia.
according to cnbc's sources, the deal hinges on apple being in control of both the software and hardware of the vehicle. in other words, it would not be a kia or hyundai with apple technology but would instead be an apple vehicle that’s built by the korean automaker in the united states under apple’s direction.
this is the same situation that apple and other hardware tech companies have had with manufacturers for decades. for example, apple’s iphone is designed by apple but built by manufacturing partners including foxconn. the vehicle is tentatively scheduled to go into production in 2024.
still, if apple does team up with kia, it could use hyundai's recently announced e-gmp ev platform as the base for any electric vehicle it decides to build. that could negate the need for apple to come up with its own battery system. hyundai and kia plan to have 23 global evs by 2025.
for those hoping to get their hands on their very own apple car, the report brings some bad news. the vehicle is reportedly said to be built without a driver's seat or controls. sources told cnbc that apple wants an electric, autonomous vehicle to hop on the mobility trend. you might not be able to buy an apple vehicle, but you could hail one for an autonomous trip around town.
while a deal is reportedly close to being completed, there’s still the chance that apple could change its mind and go with another automaker or even just pull back from the automotive world and work on its apple car in secret for a few more years before entering the field.