Apple and Hyundai Motor are set to sign a partnership deal by March 2021, to start car production by 2024 in the United States. The self-driving electric car will enter a “beta phase” as soon as next year, which is much earlier than expected.
Reuters has reported on this update, as covered by a local Korean IT newspaper. The beta phase for Apple car would likely be a reference to its prototype phase, as mass production is not expected to start anytime soon.
Apple and Hyundai could start car production by 2024
Although Hyundai had previously reported that it is in talks with Apple for car production, it has not offered any comment on this new report. Once the contract is signed, it is expected that Hyundai will invest in a new factory in the United States, which could produce 100,00 cars per year, starting from 2004. The peak capacity of the factory would be 400,00 cars per year.
Reuters had previously reported that Apple is moving full steam ahead with its car project. The report said that Apple is working on a monocell design that will help increase battery capacity and density. It will also use LiDAR sensors, which will be used for autonomous driving features, while the chips will be produced by TSMC, Apple’s supplier for A-series and M-series chips.
Most analysts agree that producing a car might be the most ambitious project that Apple will be undertaking. Some analysts have spoken up about how the automobile industry is about low-margins and would require a lot of innovation from Apple to turn it into large profits.
Tesla has already shown the way with its electric car, however, the company has been involved in this field for more than a decade. Apple has experience with design, manufacturing, supply chain, and best-in-class hardware and software integration. It could use all of its expertise to come up with an Apple Car that could compete with the likes of Tesla.