Apple to Finally Move Into Self-Driving Cars
Korea IT News reported over the weekend that Apple and Hyundai are set to sign and announce a partnership to produce autonomous electric cars in March. Both companies will then continue with plans to start production in the US around 2024.
According to local reports, two firms are in advanced talks to start building autonomous vehicles in the coming years. At the moment, they are discussing two options — either use the Hyundai-owned Kia Motors factory in Georgia or invest in a new factory in the US. Both companies are preparing to have a full annual production capacity of 400,000 vehicles.
The latest reports come just a day after South Korean media reported that Apple and Hyundai are currently in negotiations. Hyundai released a statement on the same day to confirm that it received numerous requests for developing autonomous cars.
“Apple and Hyundai are in discussion, but as it is early stage, nothing has been decided,” Hyundai said in a statement on Friday. Apple, on the other hand, declined to comment.
In December, Reuters exclusively reported that the US-based tech giant is pushing forward with plans to start manufacturing autonomous cars, that could include its own battery technology, as early as 2024. Apple announced “Project Titan” — its electric car project — back in 2014.
Analysts believe that Apple is primed to enter the business of electric vehicles (EV), but their opinions differ as far as the extent of Apple’s involvement is concerned.
“We continue to strongly believe Apple ultimately announces an EV strategic partnership in 2021 that lays the groundwork to enter the burgeoning EV space,” Wedbush analysts said in a recent note.
Gene Munster, one of the most prominent Apple analysts, believes Cook & Co have two options: build an Apple car or build licensable software for other automakers. The latest Hyundai news suggests Apple chose the latter.
“This is Apple’s wheelhouse: find a big market that a competitor has already made progress in, enter the market a few years later, and revolutionize it,” Munster said.
Hyundai stock exploded nearly 30% since Friday morning on partnership news, while Apple stock price trades nearly unchanged.
South Korean media reports that Apple and Hyundai are set to sign and announce a business deal to manufacture autonomous cars in the US starting in 2024.
About the Author
As an analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in Advanced Analytics & Media.