For years, Apple has been repeatedly rumored to be setting its sights on self-driving cars. Those rumors seem to have come to a head in the past few weeks, with more concrete talks of Apple’s plans, especially in the battery department. The latest word now is that Apple is in talks with South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai and, judging by how the latter’s share immediately jumped, interest in this venture is pretty high, as are the expectations around Apple’s self-driving car that may not even appear until 2028.
To be clear, the report doesn’t shed much light on Apple’s plans but Hyundai’s statements alone already carry a lot of weight in confirming that Apple does actually have such plans in the first place. According to a spokesperson, Apple is in talks with a number of automakers around the world and that it does include Hyundai.
Apple of course isn’t expected to be producing its own cars, much like how some self-driving car companies are building on top of carmakers’ existing models. Automobile manufacturers might be scrambling to compete who gets the honor of being Apple’s chosen partner for this endeavor. That said, it’s still not clear what that partnership would entail and how much control Apple will have over the product.
Recent speculation already has Apple working battery innovations for self-driving cars. Details are also still slim on the matter and the company has been pretty good at preventing leaks here, in contrast to iPhone and iPad leaks. The fact that there isn’t really much yet to go on has caused analyst Ming-chi Kuo to actually issue warnings about the hype being generated by the market over these rumors, as proven by how shares of companies rumored to be involved suddenly rise because of them.
Kuo speculates that the earliest we could see Apple’s self-driving car would be in 2025 or even 2028. He expects that the company will focus more on components, like battery and AI, and offload production and design to carmakers like Hyundai.