According to a report today from The Korea Times, Apple is apparently close to signing a deal with the joint automotive venture of LG and Magna, currently named “LG Magna e-Powertrain.”
The contracts would supposedly see the LG and Magna International venture produce the initial rounds of Apple Car production. Apple is currently expected to introduce its own electric vehicle in 2025 at the earliest.
In a new interview with Kara Swisher on the Sway podcast, Apple CEO Tim Cook addresses the upcoming lawsuit with Epic Games, the controversy over iOS 14.5’s App Tracking Transparency policies, and more.
In regard to Apple’s interest in self-driving cars and autonomous driving, Swisher asks Cook what he thinks of Elon Musk. Cook said that he has great admiration for Tesla, even though he has never spoken to Elon Musk himself.
Apple has reportedly changed its near-term plans for the Project Titan electric car project, moving away from the development of a vehicle for the time being, as reported by Bloomberg. This means the company is not aiming to be a direct competitor to Tesla (developing and selling its own electric vehicles), at least right now.
Hundreds of employees have been let go or re-assigned with the remaining members focusing on development of a self-driving autonomous car platform. In the future, Apple may return to developing its own vehicle or could partner with an existing car manufacturer. Apple executives have set a late 2017 deadline for the team to “prove the feasibility” of the autonomous driving system before considering the next steps.
The Financial Times is reporting that Apple is in talks to acquire McLaren, a supercar manufacturer to aids its own automobile efforts for the long-rumored Apple Car. The report says Apple is considering a full takeover acquisition of McLaren with talks spanning several months.
In McLaren, Apple may be interested in expertise and talent relating to car materials and “on-board computer systems”. The FT says an acquisition would be valued around a $1.5 billion dollars; McLaren currently records yearly losses.
More interestingly, The Guardian claims to have obtained documents that suggest the Apple Car is close to leaving the lab as the project deemed ‘Project Titan’ has now an official Engineering Program Manager. When a project gets an EPM, it typically means a product is entering the next stage of development and finishing testing stages.