Since 2014, Apple have had their Apple Car project in the works. The renowned makers of iPhone, iPad and MacBook devices has been determined to put rubber-to-road, with an autonomous vehicle seemingly the main aim of the project.
I say seemingly, because despite nearly a decade of design, Apple have remained thoroughly tight-lipped over details of their work. Of course that doesn't mean nothing has slipped out. The Apple Car has made headlines for everything from changes to its project team, to crashes on Californian highways.
It's the former that brings it back into the limelight today, as analyst Ming-Chi Kuo revealed that "Apple will likely build the new Apple Car project team before the end of 2022."
Apple Car: what do we know?
As mentioned, Apple have been very cautious when it comes to letting any details out. But eight years of development from one of the largest companies in the world doesn't go unnoticed, and we have a few ideas about what might be going on behind the scenes.
Apple has a fleet of autonomous vehicles registered with the California Department for Motor Vehicles. As of August 2018, when one was rear-ended by another road-user, the BBC reported that Apple had 66 vehicles registered.
A year later, the company acquired Drive.ai, a tech start-up that had already seen success with autonomous vehicles.
Apple are believed to be looking to manufacture in Korea. Hyundai were reportedly the most likely option, but eventually dispelled the rumours, along with Kia and Nissan.
Apple Car: what do we think?
The motor vehicle industry looks incredibly different now to what it did when Apple started work on the Apple Car back in 2014. Tesla were just gaining traction in the EV segment, but it was still a tiny fragment of what we see today.
Maybe that's why so many top executives from the automotive and technology industries have come and gone in that time. The Apple Car project seems to have a 'project team refresh' about as often as I have breakfast.
These aren't any old clowns either – the automotive side has Formula 1 and Le Mans credentials, while the technological side has been poached from top brands like Nvidia. Yet, successive cohorts of ludicrously well-qualified people have come, tried (failed, presumably) and gone again, no closer to completion.
Quite what it is about the Apple Car project that causes this grave exodus of talent, no one can say. Rumours suggest the internal target for release is 2025. I'm more than a bit sceptical, mostly because Apple still don't appear to have nailed down a manufacturing partner for the automotive side.
I really hope we do see something come from this, if for no reason other than to disrupt the motor vehicle industry.
Are we there yet? Sadly, not quite.