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Hyundai Will Build the Fully Autonomous Apple Car at Kia's U.S. Facility

Month-long reports of a possible deal between Apple and Hyundai, which would bring forth the Apple Car, also known as Project Titan, are kicking into high gear again. Despite denials from Hyundai, the carmaker and the tech giant really are in negotiations over a possible deal.
The Apple Car will be autonomous, meant for robotaxi and delivery fleets, according to the latest 1 photo
In fact, CNBC reports, the negotiations are in the final stretches, which would mean the deal is about to be finalized. It would see Apple building its car at the Kia facility in West Point, Georgia, no later than 2024.

Word of the Apple Car, or Project Titan, has been around for years, but Apple has said nothing on the record about it yet, in typical fashion. It is believed Hyundai was “forced” to walk back on a previous statement about the deal being negotiated because Apple is so keen on secrecy around all its projects.

Still, like in every other industry, word does get out. CNBC cites industry insiders as saying that production is scheduled for 2024, which would be in line with a previous report about a late 2025 delivery date. The same insiders confirm another longstanding rumor, namely that Apple will be making its first-ever car fully autonomous.

“The first Apple Cars will not be designed to have a driver,” says one source. “These will be autonomous, electric vehicles designed to operate without a driver and focused on the last mile.”

That last part of the statement indicates that the Apple Car would be part of delivery fleets and robotaxis. But it wouldn’t be entirely out of the question for a variant to be meant for the consumer market when the technology and legislation will allow for Level 5 autonomous passenger cars.

Apple is bent on making the Apple Car on its own terms, so the carmaker chosen for a partner in this will have to play by its own, very strict set of rules. The Apple Car won’t be a Kia/Hyundai car with Apple software since Apple would control every aspect of the production, the same report notes. It would be an Apple product, made possible with assistance from Hyundai.

Because of the conditions of this partnership, the tech giant continues negotiations with other carmakers in case Hyundai has a sudden change of heart.

 
 
 
 
 

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