The notion that Apple is working on a car is perhaps the automotive industry's worst-kept secret. Since being uncovered in 2014, the top-secret project has undergone more than a few changes. Reports from 2017 even indicated that Apple has stopped working on the project altogether.
Now, it seems things are back in full swing. The Apple Car team currently includes former Tesla employees and other highly sought-after automotive executives. The company’s self-driving technology is also being tested in California using cars from Lexus and with vehicles from other brands.
Apple has been in talks with several automakers regarding its car project, including Kia and Hyundai. While nothing has been set in stone, the tech company continues to consider who it will partner with to build its first-ever car.
A team from Apple is reportedly now in Asia to meet with representatives from Toyota. The visit could include tours of Toyota's various factories and assembly lines. By all indications, the Apple Car will be an electric vehicle (EV), so the visit may put a special focus on battery technology.
Toyota has valuable experience in the EV space, as proven by its hybrid models, such as the Prius and Corolla Cross. The Japanese automaker could provide Apple with valuable insights and manufacturing capabilities.
As a first-time automaker, the stakes are high for Apple to succeed in this venture. The margin for error is slim, but Apple is well equipped to take on the challenge. Its advanced silicon computer chips could be the missing piece for a fully autonomous electric vehicle.
The Apple Car could reportedly be released as early as 2024, but some analysts think the vehicle might not come until 2028. Details on the car, such as its design and price, are not yet known. Based on Apple's history, its future vehicle will likely feature a radical look that departs from the designs of conventional automakers.
For the past decade, Apple has been among the top companies in the world by market capitalization, even placing first for several of those years. The company has all the resources needed to produce an interesting car that could shake up the automotive industry. For now, all eyes are on Apple as it continues to work on its mysterious car project.