Rumors of the long-fabled Apple Car have continued to surface, and now a report claims that production has been handed off to Kia.
Originally Korean car firm Hyundai was set to be the frontrunner for Apple Car production, but according to Korean site eDaily, it’ll be Kia doing all that work. More to the point, it seems the company has plans to build the Apple Car in its Georgia plant.
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According to eDaily, Hyundai decided against manufacturing the Apple Car because it’s currently more interested in growing its own brand. There are also concerns that Apple may want to take charge in the project and leave Hyundai as an OEM factory for Apple’s motoring interests.
However Kia, which is a subsidiary of Hyundai, has been selected as a suitable replacement. The company recently announced that it will be developing customized vehicles for third parties in addition to the development of its own brand. The Apple Car would likely fall into that category.
Kia is also set to use its Georgia plant during its business with Apple, and it’s expected that it will then be the home of Apple Car production in the U.S. Unfortunately, like the Apple Car itself, details on the deal are scarce.
What we do know, however, is that the Apple Car is still a ways off. Despite reports claiming it could arrive before the end of the year, it’s currently expected that the Apple Car is on course for a 2024 launch date.
We know that the car is set to be fully electric, and may feature a “next level” monocel battery design that offers longer range and better safety than existing electric car batteries. What we’ve heard also suggests that this will be a fully self-driving car, using an Apple-developed LiDAR system to “see” its surroundings.
Interestingly, the Apple Car is said to be being produced as a private car, rather than one built for ride-sharing services. Whether there will be a drivable Apple Car is another question entirely, since developing a purely autonomous vehicle is rather difficult. It turns out machines still aren’t quite as good at analyzing situations as human beings.
We will have to wait and see what happens over the next few years before we can say anything for sure. No doubt there will be plenty of leaks once (or if) production finally does get started.