Hyundai and Apple are in talks to jointly develop self-driving electric cars

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Hyundai has disclosed that it’s among the companies vying for a potential tie-up with Apple that would result in jointly developed autonomous electric cars. 

“Apple is in negotiations with multiple global automakers. Hyundai is one of them and we are in early stages of talks. Nothing has been decided,” the South Korean automaker said in a statement initially given to The Korea Economic Daily on Friday morning in its home market. 

The comment followed an initial report that Apple had approached Hyundai Motor Group to cooperate on EV development, including batteries. 

Hyundai 45 concept

Hyundai 45 concept

Just last month, Reuters cited inside sources in verifying that Apple’s project to develop a complete car—what has been referred to as “Project Titan”—is back on. According to that report, the project would rely on an evolution of the lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) chemistry that was pioneered for volume production in cars (and vertically integrated) by China’s BYD and is now used by Tesla in China-market Model 3 sedans. Such a shift might give the Apple car a “radically” lower cost, according to the report.

BYD Blade battery pack

BYD Blade battery pack

Although the Reuters report cited a 2024 start-of-production goal for the Apple car, a Bloomberg report published Thursday said that such an autonomous electric vehicle remains at least a half-decade away because the work is still at an early stage. It also cited sources with knowledge of the project. 

This is at least the second iteration of the Apple car project over the long term. Back in 2015 the electric car reportedly had become a “committed project” at the California company with intended delivery in 2019. Since then, there’s been a checkered series of reports that it’s been on and of, or maybe repurposed to become more of a mobility service or toolkit.

Apple reportedly wanted to use the BMW i3 as the basis for an Apple car, while Tesla CEO Elon Musk last month revealed that Apple wasn’t interested when he offered to sell the camaker to the computing company in 2017. Over the past few years, the pace of executives hired from both companies hasn’t let up, though. 

Hyundai Motor Group E-GMP platform

Hyundai Motor Group E-GMP platform

Hyundai Motor Group E-GMP platform

Hyundai Motor Group E-GMP platform

Hyundai Motor Group E-GMP platform

Hyundai Motor Group E-GMP platform

Just last month, Hyundai Motor Group revealed an impressive modular platform for next-generation electric vehicles from Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis. The powerful component set is ready for bi-directional charging and autonomous drive tech. It can also use 800V hardware, and has the white space for a range of layouts. Vehicles will be able to regain 62 miles of range in as little as 5 minutes.



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