Apple is rumored to be eyeing up an eye-watering $3.6 billion investment in Kia Motors to gear up its production capabilities for its long-rumored Apple Car. The relationship would reportedly see Kia use its US facility, based in Georgia, as the production hub.
Kia, which is part of the Hyundai Motor Group conglomerate, could partner with Apple to manufacture the first Apple Cars by 2024, churning out 100,000 automobiles per year when manufacturing is in full flow.
Speculation around the Apple Car has been rife: amassing far and wide, reports have long hinted at Apple’s foray into automobiles, ever since the announcement of Project Titan in 2014. Project Titan is the Cupertino-giant’s effort to develop a driverless system – the Apple autonomous auto would, in theory, be a massive pull for consumers. Such a driverless system would attract users who not only see Apple as a lifestyle choice, but a trusted brand that could deliver a trusted safety profile to driverless technology.
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It comes against the backdrop of important hire news from the tech giant. Apple recently tapped up Porsche’s Vice President of Chassis Development, Dr Manfred Harrer, to help convert Project Titan’s ambitions into a fully-fledged vehicle (via 9to5mac). News of the prominent recruitment adds real weight to the viability of an Apple Car, especially in light of so much hearsay.
The Kia and Apple tie-up is a milestone for the eventual realization of an Apple Car model. Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, has suggested that partnership will see Apple co-opting Hyundai’s E-GMP battery electric vehicle platform, which forms the existing basis of the Group’s future electric cars and is distinguished by its efficiency.
Apple has dipped its toes in automobiles before yet only with Apple CarPlay, which takes your favorite car-friendly apps and beams them directly to your car’s touchscreen. It now seems the company has shifted gears, finally getting nearer to making the long-awaited Apple Car a reality. T3's pick of the best CarPlay stereo should help find a new space to beam your favorite tunes while on the road.
The Apple rumor-mill has been striking us from all angles recently: T3's coverage of hefty camera upgrades that look set to hit the Apple iPhone 13, and there’s even talk of an imminent release of Apple AirTags, after the discovery of an unusual hidden feature in Safari. The road ahead looks busy for Apple with its constant innovations.
Perhaps we might even see Apple's AirTags accessorized for an Apple Car model, a sort-of spare key, or hidden tracker to work against theft; you may remember T3's coverage of the digital car key feature, enabling a device such as your Apple Watch Series 6 to unlock your car in something just sort of full-blown magic. An Apple Car would offer endless opportunities for integration with the wider Apple eco-system and T3 is certainly excited about the many avenues of technical genius this vehicle would open up.