Carmaker Nissan Motor on Monday said it is not in talks with Apple following a report that the iPhone maker approached the Japanese company recently about a tie-up for its autonomous car project.
According to Financial Times, Apple had approached the Japanese automaker about a potential partnership “in recent months.”
The contact was brief and the discussions did not advance to senior management levels following divisions over branding for the iPhone maker’s electric vehicles.
Nissan is not in talks with Apple. However, the carmaker said they are always open to exploring collaborations and partnerships to accelerate industry transformation, reports The Verge.
Earlier, Hyundai Motor and its affiliate ‘Kia’ said they are not in talks with Apple over an electric car manufacturing project in response to reports of their suspended discussions.
In separate regulatory filings, Hyundai and Kia, which together form the world’s fifth-biggest carmaker by sales, said they are “not in talks with Apple over developing an autonomous vehicle”.
Earlier, reports mentioned that Apple was also discussing similar plans with other automobile manufacturers besides Hyundai.
The first Apple electric car is expected to be built on Hyundai’s electric vehicle platform and the initial model could lead to new vehicles built in association with General Motors and European manufacturer PSA.
In a note to investors, TF Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple’s deep collaboration with current automakers (Hyundai Group, General Motors and PSA) who have extensive development, production and qualification experience “will significantly shorten the Apple Car development time and create a time-to-market advantage”.
Kuo believes that the earliest possible date for an Apple car to hit the market is 2025.
The Apple car is rumoured to feature LiDAR technology which could add a lot of depth to onboard Artificial Intelligence (AI) functions. The vehicle is expected to use a “C1” chip based on the A12 Bionic processor with in-cabin AI capabilities such as eye-tracking.