CNBC: The Apple Car will be fully autonomous

Don’t count on controlling the steering wheel of an Apple-branded vehicle when it comes out because the first Apple Cars could be robotaxis designed to deliver food and the like.

CNBC has published an interesting new story, sourced from multiple people familiar with Project Titan, claiming that the first Apple Car will be a fully autonomous electric vehicle. “The Apple Car will be fully autonomous,” according to today’s report.

‘The first Apple Cars will not be designed to have a driver,’ said one source with knowledge of the current plan. ‘These will be autonomous, electric vehicles designed to operate without a driver and focused on the last mile.’

It doesn’t sound like the first Apple Cars will be suited for personal use.

Chrysler's 2021 Pacifica with Uconnect 5 on board with support for wireless CarPlay
Chrysler’s 2021 Pacifica with Uconnect 5 on board with support for wireless CarPlay

As a matter of fact, that quote could be interpreted as a sign that Apple Cars might focus on package food delivery operations and firms incorporating robotaxis, at least initially.

A production deal with Hyundai

The CNBC report has corroborated the recent Reuters story alleging that Apple and Hyundai will sign a $3.6 billion production deal later this month, with the Hyundai subsidiary Kia potentially manufacturing up to 100,000 Apple Cars in West Point, Georgia.

Sources familiar with Apple’s interest in working with Hyundai say the tech giant wants to build the Apple Car in North America with an established automaker willing to allow Apple to control the software and hardware that will go into the vehicle.

That certainly sounds like Apple. However, don’t keep your fingers crossed for an Apple Car release this or next year. The product has been tentatively scheduled to go into production in 2024 at the earliest, barring any unforeseen delays.