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Apple Car Details: Design, Development, Manufacturing and Target Delivery Date

Apple Car, the long-rumored electric vehicle (EV) and driverless car from the iPhone and Macintosh maker, appears to be a real project.

Apple has not confirmed the project’s existence. But multiple reports now detail the phantom project’s progress. Admittedly, the self-driving car won’t offer traditional channel partner opportunities. But it’s a safe bet strategic alliance partners (chip manufacturers, independent software vendors, 5G networking companies, cybersecurity companies and more) will play a role in Apple Car’s design, development, manufacturing, launch, delivery, safety and IoT security.

Apple Car Project and Potential Delivery Timeline

So what is known so far about Apple Car? Here’s a timeline of news reports and chatter about the highly likely Next Big Product effort from the Silicon Valley giant.

2024: Rumored target delivery date for first Apple Cars, though the date could be pushed back, and an initial target date for sales or pre-sales remains unclear. Source: Numerous reports.

February 19, 2021:

  • Lidar Sensor Suppliers: Apple is  in discussions with multiple suppliers of self-driving car sensors known as lidar, a key milestone toward development of its first passenger vehicle. Source: Bloomberg, February 19, 2021.

February 15, 2021:

  • Nissan – No Deal: Apple approached Japan’s Nissan in recent months about a tie-up for its secretive autonomous car project, but talks are no longer active, according to people briefed on the matter. Source: Financial Times.

February 7, 2021:

  • No Discussions: Hyundai Motor Co said it is not now in talks with Apple on autonomous electric cars, just a month after it confirmed early-stage talks with the tech giant, sending the automaker’s shares skidding. Source: Reuters.

February 5, 2021:

  • Potential Partner Outreach: Kia has approached potential partners about a plan to assemble Apple Car in Georgia. Source: The Wall Street Journal.
  • Rumored 2024 Apple Car Delivery Date: Under a potential deal with Apple, Kia may begin building cars under Apple’s brand as soon as 2024.  The rumored deal could involve building 100,000 vehicles Georgia, where Kia has a factory.  Source: The Wall Street Journal.

February 3, 2021:

  • Why Hundia-Kia May Help Apple: By working with Apple, leaders of Hyundai-Kia believe they will accelerate development of their own autonomous and electric and vehicle plans.  Hyundai is currently partnered with Aptiv in a joint-venture developing autonomous vehicle technology, including robotaxis. Source: CNBC.
  • Apple Car’s Initial Focus – Food Delivery and Robotaxis?: “The first Apple Cars will not be designed to have a driver,” said one source with knowledge of the current plan. “These will be autonomous, electric vehicles designed to operate without a driver and focused on the last mile.”  That could mean Apple cars, at least initially, could focus on package food delivery operations and firms incorporating robotaxis. Source: CNBC.

January 7, 2021: Apple has held talks with Hyundai Motor about cooperation on driverless, electric vehicles, the South Korean car giant said. Source: The Wall Street Journal.

2014 – Apple Project Titan: Apple began working on developing an electric vehicle, known as Project Titan. The first details surfaced in early 2015. The effort involves a minivan-like design. Source: The Wall Street Journal, February 13, 2015.

Blog posted February 5, 2021. Updated regularly thereafter as new details emerge.

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