Apple's talks with Hyundai and Kia for autonomous cars may have crashed early

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Apple's talks with Hyundai and Kia for autonomous cars may have crashed early
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  • In two separate filings to the stock-exchanges Hyundai and Kia said, “We are not having talks with Apple on developing autonomous vehicles.”
  • Post the announcement Kia Motors and Hyundai shares plunged nearly 12% and 5%, respectively, on the Korea Exchange.
  • CEO Tim Cook’s Project Titan’s goal was to launch an autonomous electric vehicle that would be Apple-branded.
  • In June 2018, It hired a former Waymo and NASA engineer to head the project “Titan” but by 2019, the project was scaled back a bit.
Hyundai and Kia have refuted reports claiming that the South Korean car makers are nearing a deal to build Apple’s autonomous electric car by 2027. The iPhone maker has invested heavily in Project Titan, which aimed at launching a self-driving electric car, for years but started to scale back in 2019.

In two separate filings to the stock-exchanges Hyundai and Kia said, “We are not having talks with Apple on developing autonomous vehicles.” Post the announcement Kia Motors, and Hyundai shares plunged nearly 12% and 5%, respectively, on the Korea Exchange.

In January, Hyundai, which owns a majority stake in Kia, confirmed that the talks are “at an early stage, nothing has been decided.” According to Reuters, Hyundai and Apple have been in discussions about a deal since at least 2018 but Tim Cook’s company has never publicly acknowledged it.

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In the last few years, Apple also has poached employees from the electric car maker Tesla. In June 2018, It hired a former Waymo and NASA engineer to head the project “Titan”.

However, in January 2019, the Silicon Valley-based tech giant cut more than 200 employees from Project Titan.

Five months later, Apple confirmed that it had acquired Drive.ai, a self-driving startup. Cook spent over $77 million on Drive.ai’s because, reportedly, he liked the talent in the startup than its proprietary technology.

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