Apple’s goal of building a personal vehicle for the mass market contrasts with rivals such as Alphabet Inc’s Waymo.
It remains unclear who would assemble an Apple-branded car, but sources have said they expect the company to rely on a manufacturing partner to build vehicles.
Apple into automotive for it’s first time
Apple Inc is moving forward with self-driving car technology and is targeting 2024 to produce a passenger vehicle that could include its own breakthrough battery technology, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Making a vehicle represents a supply chain challenge even for Apple, a company with deep pockets that creates hundreds of millions of electronics products each year with parts from around the world, but has never made a car.
The automobile efforts of iPhone makers
The iPhone maker’s automotive efforts, known as Project Titan, have proceeded unevenly since 2014 when it first started to design its own vehicle from scratch. At one point, Apple drew back the effort to focus on software and reassessed its goals.
Doug Field, an Apple veteran who had worked at Tesla Inc, returned to oversee the project in 2018 and laid off 190 people from the team in 2019.
Apple initially engaged Magna International Inc in about manufacturing a car, but the discussion leaked out as Apple’s plans became a bit mixed up, a person familiar with those previous efforts exposed. Magna did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Inorder to vain a profit, automotive contract manufacturers often ask for volumes that could bet a challenge even to Apple, which would be a newcomer to the automotive market.
“In order to have a viable assembly plant, you need 100,000 vehicles annually, with more volume to come,” the person said.