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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

The first Apple Car that's released will not be designed to operate with a driver, according to a report from CNBC that cites multiple unnamed sources with knowledge of Apple's plans. "These will be autonomous, electric vehicles designed to operate without a driver and focused on the last mile," said one of the people.


CNBC speculates that the initial Apple Cars could be designed for food delivery operations and firms that incorporate robotaxis. Self-driving robotaxis are available in China, and in the United States, companies like Waymo have tested public robotaxi programs. Many vehicle manufacturers working on autonomous technology are also planning for robotaxi services.

The tidbit about Apple's aim to produce a driverless car comes in a wider report that suggests Apple is close to finalizing an Apple Car deal with Hyundai affiliate Kia, which echoes several other reports suggesting a deal is brewing between Hyundai and Apple.

CNBC suggests that the Apple Car will be manufactured at the Kia assembly plant in West Point, Georgia under the terms of the agreement. No deal has yet been reached, however, and Apple could decide to work with another automaker entirely or choose a secondary partner to work with alongside Hyundai.

According to CNBC's sources, Apple has decided to pursue a partnership with Hyundai-Kia because the deal gives Apple access to an established automaker with the capability to produce vehicles in North America. Hyundai-Kia is also willing to give Apple control over both the Apple Car software and the hardware, with Apple planning for a full Apple-branded vehicle and not a Kia model that includes Apple software.

Hyundai-Kia executives believe that working with Apple will allow them to accelerate their own autonomous and electric vehicle plans.

Apple is said to be aiming to have the Apple Car in production in 2024, though it's possible that timeline will be delayed as work on the Apple Car is still in the early stages. Bloomberg recently said it would be five to seven years before an Apple Car is ready to launch, while Apple analyst Ming-Chu Kuo said this week that he expects to see the Apple Car in 2025 at the earliest.

Article Link: First Apple Car to Be Fully Autonomous and Designed to Operate Without a Driver


macrumors 68000
Feb 19, 2016
Can't wait for this exchange to happen:

Me: (angry) Your AutoPod just dumped me somewhere I don't even recognize.
Apple "Genius": (bored) Can you explain what you're trying to do?
Me: I'm trying to get to work! Your car kicked me out, like, 5 miles from my office!
Apple "Genius": (dismissive) Oh, well, obviously you weren't sitting in it right. Bye.


macrumors 601
Feb 24, 2009
People not knowing how to drive is the wave of the future. Give it 20 years and 1/3 of the people that buy cars today will not be buying cars. If a robotaxi can get you there for the price of a latte, why bother owning a car and paying to insure, repair, and house it.
If it really costs 5 bucks I’d dump my car in a heartbeat after we’re done with car seats.


macrumors 68020
Apr 20, 2016
La Jolla, CA
Reinforces my belief all-along that Apple wouldn't try to sell a Kia-based car to the General Public, & that it would be intended for some captive market.

My best guess, to Service Companies addressing the Elderly, where, I believe, it would both be very welcome, & very successful !

For example, getting them to the supermarket 1-2 times per week, & to the Doctor's office whenever necessary.

This is ALSO where I believe Apple can make its biggest contribution to society / humanity !


macrumors 604
Nov 3, 2011
SF Bay Area
If the car is to be completely driverless (SAE autonomy level 5), it won’t be released in 2024. I doubt it will be released in 2034, either.

Alternatively, it may be aimed at very limited markets; the cars only operate in a restricted area in good weather. But does that make any commercial sense?
Why restricted areas and good weather? My Tesla works fine in rain and pretty much drove itself down to LA and back from the bay area. The only time I took control was stopping for food since I wanted to drive by places and see what the lines were like. Also, works pretty well on city streets including the subdivision I live in.
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