Report: Apple's Autonomous Electric Car at Least Five Years Away

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【Summary】Of course Tesla’s the main target, but getting it’s small team up to speed and getting the necessary components means Apple is facing an uphill battle.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Feb 16, 2021 8:20 AM PT
Report: Apple's Autonomous Electric Car at Least Five Years Away

There are so many reports on Apple's upcoming self-driving electric car that it's becoming hard to know what's real. Last year, a report stated that the tech company would have a car on the market by 2024. More recently, we've heard that Apple is partnering with Hyundai to come out with a car by 2027. Now, there's a new report from Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, that claims Apple's car will actually come out in five years, at the earliest, making 2026 a new possibility.

What's Apple Working On?

According to Bloomberg, Apple has a small team comprised of hardware engineers that are working on developing drive systems, external body designs, and an interior for the company's upcoming vehicle. This is a large change from previous reports, which indicated that Apple was only working on the car's self-driving system and software. Apparently, things have changed as the tech company has brought on more ex-Tesla executives.

With the new amount of work on hand, unnamed Apple engineers believe that a product could be on the road in five to seven years. As things stand, the report claims that "the car is nowhere near production stage" and the timeline could change. The coronavirus, as one would expect, has affected the company's timeline, as the majority of people are now working from home.

As the outlet points out, Apple doesn't manufacture its own products, which is a route it's likely to take with its first car. That matches a recent report that stated Apple would look to Hyundai to manufacture its EVs and provide the tech company with the necessary batteries. Bloomberg claims that Apple's first attempt at building a car, which was roughly five years ago, saw the company work with Magna International, a large automotive supplier and manufacturer.

Self-Driving System Takes Priority

In the midst of Apple working on an electric car, the company has also been looking into self-driving technology. The unnamed sources in the Bloomberg report claim that the autonomous system is for a third-party car partner instead of its own car. There's a very good possibility that Apple could ditch its electric car idea in the future and choose, once again, to focus mainly on the self-driving car system. Afterall, Apple has been testing its autonomous technology on public roads in California since 2017.

As more and more reports come out, it seems like Apple's main focus is on the autonomous system. Bloomberg claims that Apple has hundreds of engineers working on the car project, with the majority of employees developing the self-driving system. The team tasked with working on the actual vehicle is much smaller.

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