There are two persistent Apple rumours that just won’t go away. One is the existence of an Apple-made television set, and the other is Project Titan, an Apple-made self-driving car. We’ve heard whispers about it since around 2014 but recent months have seen the rumours spike.
Most recently, a Hyundai spokesperson seems to have confirmed the existence of Project Titan, saying that “We understand that Apple is in discussion with a variety of global automakers, including Hyundai Motors. As the discussion is at its early stage, nothing has been decided.”
Possibly Project Titan
The project may finally bear fruit, some ten years after it first turned up on the tech scene. In December last year Reuters claimed that Apple has eyes on a 2024 launch for an electric, self-driving passenger vehicle. The news agency added that Apple is pursuing a new battery design that would be cheaper to implement while extending the vehicle’s range. Not that we’ve seen even a hint as to what its range might be.
The tech-maker has made several hires in the motor vehicle space of late but, Bloomberg reports, “[t]he car is nowhere near production stage.”
The Korea Economic Daily first sparked this latest round of rumours, saying that Hyundai had been tapped to possibly manufacture the vehicle for Apple as well as possibly develop the battery tech Apple has in mind to run the thing. The South Korean auto-maker’s shares climbed when the possibility of an Apple partnership was revealed.
UPDATE: Having stirred the pot, and added some $8 billion to its market valuation, Hyundai has since revised and then walked back its claim that a specific tech company (namely Apple) has been in contact with them concerning possible self-driving vehicle production.
Instead, Bloomberg reports, Hyundai now maintains that “We’ve been receiving requests for potential cooperation from various companies regarding development of autonomous EVs. No decisions have been made as discussions are in early stage.”