Hyundai and Kia confirmed at the beginning of this month that they were no longer in talks with Apple over the Apple Car partnership. However, a new South Korean report from Chosun Biz claims that both companies are still under negotiations for developing Apple’s self-driving electric vehicle.
The report claims that Apple and Kia had signed an MOU (Memorandum of Association) last year that involved cooperation in eight sections, which includes electric vehicles. As per an insider, despite setbacks, the negotiations between the two companies are still ongoing.
“Even if the negotiations on electric vehicles fail, there are many items that can be negotiated in other fields, so we are still optimistic about the possibility of partnership between the two sides,” the Korean report says citing an unnamed executive.
Apple and Kia are also discussing “last mile” mobility solutions in which the passenger has to cover a short distance to reach the final destination after using another means of transport like a car or metro to reach the “last mile” point.
There were strong rumors of Apple partnering with Hyundai or Kia to manufacture the Apple Car in the United States a few years from now. However, all the leaked information seemingly led Apple to look at other partners for Apple Car. The company talked with Nissan and other carmakers regarding this, though it is unclear if it has finally partnered with any of them or not.
Reputed Apple analysts and reporters have claimed that Apple Car is still in the early stages of development, with the car at least half a decade away from public release. This gives Apple plenty of time to finalize a manufacturing partner for its electric vehicle.[Via Chosun Biz, Reuters]