Apple is said to be on the verge of closing a deal to produce its own autonomous vehicles in cooperation with South Korean giant Hyundai and could announce it as early as this month, according to several media. The computer giant, which has been developing its own autonomous driving technology for several years, is said to be working with Hyundai and its Kia brand to produce a car in the state of southern Georgia, financial news channel CNBC claims.
100,000 vehicles per year from 2024
A Korean media outlet has claimed that Apple is set to make a multibillion-dollar investment in Kia as part of the partnership, which could be announced on February 17. The two groups reportedly plan to produce 100,000 vehicles per year from 2024. Neither company has commented on the information. According to CNBC, the deal is not finalized, but the companies plan to manufacture an Apple-branded autonomous electric vehicle at Kia’s assembly plant in West Point, Georgia.
Apple wants to work with an established automaker, allowing the California tech giant to control the software and hardware that will go into the vehicle. Hyundai shares had already skyrocketed last month on reports it was in talks with Apple. Hyundai said it had received requests for cooperation on autonomous electric cars from various companies, but had not confirmed that it was in discussions with Apple.