The first Apple Car will not need a driver. 100% autonomous
Early this month, we wrote about Apple Car after Hyundai said it was in early talks with Apple to develop self-driving electric vehicles and batteries. After many years of speculation and rumors, it now seems that Apple is really serious about getting into the car business.
According to a report from CNBC, Apple is close to finalizing a deal with Hyundai-Kia to manufacture an Apple-branded autonomous electric vehicle at the Kia assembly plant in West Point, Georgia. Per CNBC, the so-called “Apple Car,” which is being developed by a team at Apple, is tentatively scheduled to go into production in 2024. However, people familiar with the talks between Apple and Hyundai-Kia say the eventual rollout could be pushed back.
Citing sources familiar with the plan, CNBC said the first Apple Car will be completely autonomous and could be used for delivery services and robotaxis. “The first Apple Cars will not be designed to have a driver,” a source told CNBC.
The report also reiterates an earlier rumor that Apple is negotiating with Hyundai-Kia a $3.6 billion deal that would allow it to mass-produce the Apple Car in the US and have full control over the hardware and software.
The contract could be signed in the coming days, and Kia would use the investment to build a dedicated assembly line for the Apple Car, which could mass-produce anywhere from 100,000 to 400,000 units of self-driving electric cars per year. The report sent the Kia stock surging, after a similar rumor a few weeks ago had the same effect on Hyundai shares — the Korean giant first confirmed, then walked back its Apple partnership comments at the time.