Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook’s goal with Project Titan is to develop an autonomous electric car with Apple branding on it
In a rather disappointing piece of development, South Korean automaker Hyundai and its subsidiary brand Kia has refuted all rumours of them associating with Apple Inc. A few weeks ago, reports suggested that the American tech giant will join hands with Hyundai for its first automobile project.
While this created a lot of frenzies online, people have longed for more details regarding this project. Now, Hyundai has confirmed that it is not in talks with Apple anymore. For the uninitiated, Apple is looking to develop its first all-electric self-driven car in association with an automotive brand.
Hyundai, Kia Shares Take Plunge
In two separate filings to the stock-exchanges Hyundai and Kia have confirmed that they are not in talks with Apple on developing autonomous vehicles. Post this development, both Hyundai and Kia’s shares took a dip by almost 5% and 12% respectively on the South Korea exchange.
Speculations are rife that Hyundai is rather keen on developing its own brand of electric self-driven vehicles rather than manufacturing one for another brand. It has also claimed that the Korean carmaker is concerned that Apple may take charge of this project, leaving Hyundai to just mass-produce this vehicle.
Earlier in January, reports had said that Hyundai is in talks with the Silicon Valley-based tech giant. The talks were at an early stage with reports suggesting that the automaker might handover this project to its sister brand Kia in order to solidify its global image.
Apple Car Project
Apple’s plans to develop a self-driven electric car, first emerged in a report back in 2016, which was scrapped shortly later. Come December 2020, another report claimed that work on this project had resumed and that Apple is in talks with Hyundai to form an alliance for the same. On the back of news reports stating that Apple and Hyundai are going to partner, share prices of Hyundai had jumped by 24 percent.
Hyundai is traditionally known to be hesitant on working with outsiders on technologies related to drivetrains, engines and transmission. Apple, on the other hand, is reportedly still on the lookout for a worthy partner to carry out its ambitious project named ‘Titan’.
In June 2018, the company also hired a former Waymo and NASA engineer to head this program. However, the company cut down more than 200 employees from this project in January 2019.
Initial reports about the tie-up suggested that this supposed partnership will build around 100,000 production-spec vehicles in 2024 with a Beta prototype version said to be developed by 2022.