Not in talks with Apple for electric car: Hyundai
Seoul: In an apparent setback, Hyundai said on Monday that it is no longer in talks with Apple for the joint development of an autonomous vehicle. In a statement, Hyundai said that it "has received requests to co-develop autonomous electric vehicle from multiple companies but they were in the early stages and nothing has been finalised." On the joint development of autonomous electric vehicles with Apple, Hyundai clearly said that it was "not conducting consultations with Apple on the development of autonomous vehicles".
Earlier reports mentioned that Apple was also discussing similar plans with other automobile manufacturers besides Hyundai. Last month, Hyundai confirmed that it was in talks with Apple to develop an electric car. After initially naming Apple in its statements, it removed the name of the tech giant from its further statements. The setback came as amid reports that the first Apple electric car will be built on Hyundai's electric vehicle platform and the initial model could lead to new vehicles built in association with General Motors and European manufacturer PSA.
In a note to investors, TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple's deep collaboration with current automakers (Hyundai Group, GM and PSA) who have extensive development, production, and qualification experience will significantly shorten the Apple Car development time and create a time-to-market advantage"
"We believe that Apple will leverage current automakers' resources and focus on self-driving hardware and software, semiconductors, battery-related technologies, form factor and internal space designs, innovative user experience, and the integration with Apple's existing ecosystem," he added. Kuo believes that the earliest possible date for an Apple car to hit the market is 2025.
The Apple car is rumoured to feature LiDAR technology, which could add a lot of depth to onboard AI functions. The vehicle is expected to use a "C1" chip based on the A12 Bionic processor with in-cabin AI capabilities such as eye-tracking.