The Apple Car effort has seen a lot of ups and downs over the years. Especially for a project that’s not, technically, an official product. But that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from showing us both the positives and the negatives Apple has faced. And today is no different.
According to a report from Maeil Economic Daily, which is based out of South Korea, Apple has made the decision to go on developing the Apple Car on its own. The publication states that the company has decided to go down this route in an effort to avoid any further delays that have impacted Project Titan in years prior. If this is true, this means Apple is no longer trying to work directly with another auto manufacturer like BMW or Hyundai to get its own car up on four wheels.
The report adds Apple is now speaking with suppliers directly, looking to secure the final parts for its upcoming automobile.
The report says Apple’s research and development arm for the Apple Car has been in place since 2014. The plan, to start, was to develop the automobile on its own. However, development challenges eventually led to what we saw in reports over the last several months, with Apple reaching out to other companies like Hyundai, Nissan, BMW, and Toyota in an effort to reach a joint development plan.
As Apple did that, its own department for hardware research apparently stopped functioning in 2016. However, the company did not stop development on automobile software for self-driving efforts. Which would line up with plenty of previous rumors from some time ago.
As the automobile industry transitioned to electric vehicles en masse (basically), it appears Apple’s goals to get there alongside another major auto manufacturer were hit with delays. That slowed things down for a joint development in such a way that Apple decided it wasn’t worth it. The talks with those other companies fell flat with no partnerships in place.
This report says that, following all of that, Apple has turned the lights back on within its automobile hardware development and research program. Which means Apple is going it alone once again. So new hires for the Special Projects Group associated with the Apple Car would make sense. Unfortunately, the bit of bad news is that Apple just lost Doug Field to Ford, which has reportedly set things back quite a bit.
We’re probably still many years away from Apple unveiling its first automobile, but it certainly sounds like the company isn’t giving up on the idea just yet.