The Apple Car isn’t dead and could debut in 2024, report says – Roadshow

What in the world is Apple up to?

Angela Lang/CNET

The Apple Car is reportedly alive and well within the halls of Cupertino, California. Not only that, the ambitious project is supposedly far ahead of schedule. That’s the word from a Taiwanese report in the Economic Daily News, published Monday. Another report Monday from Reuters, citing sources close to the project, provided far more details, though talked of a more realistic timeframe.

The Taiwanese report cited unnamed sources that said suppliers will start to ramp up production of components for the long-rumored Apple Car in the second quarter of 2021 and noted the project is running a couple years ahead of schedule. Reuters’ sources told the publication 2024 is the date we’ll see an Apple Car.

If you missed the Apple Car hoopla in the past, the technology giant was rumored to be close to revealing a prototype car last decade before the project was shelved. Instead, Apple decided to focus on self-driving car software and left the hardware to other companies. Unlike some technology companies and startups, Apple wasn’t looking to build a robotaxi, but instead, a personal vehicle you can drive.

Bit by bit, we’ve also seen evidence Apple may still want to dabble with a physical car in the form of many patent applications for physical automotive components. Just because a company files a patent application doesn’t mean it’ll go through with it, but still, it gives us an idea where its engineers’ heads are at, at a minimum. According to the Reuters report, Apple regrouped on Project Titan in 2019 and plans to push ahead with plans for a physical car, rather than software. Plans include game-changing battery technology to pack more energy into a battery pack at a far lower cost, according to the report.

This “monocell” battery pack, as a source described it to the publication, frees up space inside the pack to include more active materials to increase the driving range while simplifying the design. A lithium-iron phosphate composition is also on the table, rather than lithium-ion, reportedly. As for self-driving technology, Apple is reportedly in talks with outside firms to collaborate on the technology, but it may build its own units in-house with experience from iPhone technology.

For now, we definitely need to take both reports with a heaping dose of salt. Apple did not return Roadshow’s request for comment on the information, and we know the company holds onto its secrets tightly. And who knows, the “Apple Car” may end up not being a physical thing at all. The Reuters report acknowledges things may change again in the next few years. Perhaps the “car” will be a comprehensive suite of artificial intelligence and software to “run” a self-driving car. Just like Apple has slowly started to invade infotainment systems with CarPlay, it’s not implausible the tech giant literally steers future robocars in the distant future.

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