The development of a electric car (and perhaps autonomous) at Apple seems to last for several years now, according to the patents filed by the brand in this direction but also the recruitment of various automotive experts. One of the main challenges encountered by the project would be in particular the definition of a partner of choice for manufacturing.
Some names have already been mentioned here and there, including Kia, Hyundai, Foxconn, Magna or even Nissan. But according to a new signed report Nikkei Asia, another supplier is also cited: Sanden, a Japanese firm with offices in Texas. An address where the manufacturer would have also received a visit from an Apple employee …
Plans already ready?
The man then explained that he needed the components of the Japanese subcontractor to design electric vehicle components, including the air conditioning system, industrial diagrams supporting. But the collaboration between the two companies would not have materialized in the end, among other things following the financial setbacks experienced by Sanden with the coronavirus crisis.
These revelations echo other rumors – this time from Bloomberg– according to which CarPlay could one day be improved in order to support precisely more controls in the passenger compartment, such as air conditioning or the advancement of the seats. However, we still haven’t been able to see such a version of the OS there either.
No surprises in 2022
Anyway, according to many analysts specializing in the subject, the Apple Car should not see the light of day for at least a few years. The most optimistic figures rely on 2024, but still it is necessary that a subcontractor is chosen by then and that the regulators approve the model. However, we know that the competition authorities have the Apple in their sights.
Among the advantages that the Apple car could bring on board is the connectivity which should set it apart from the competition. Major integration with the ecosystem of the brand’s other products is particularly expected. But the biggest challenge will surely be that of autonomous driving, on which the engineers of Cupertino are already working with a dedicated and confidential training circuit in the heart of the American desert.