Technology

Published on February 9th, 2021 | by Danielle

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Is Apple Actually Making a Self-Driving Car?

For years, Apple has been one of the most recognizable technology brands in existence. From the iPhone and the Macbook to iTunes and the Apple Watch, you’ve probably relied on the company’s products or services in some way. And now, rumors are swirling that you could soon rely on Apple to get from place to place — and not just in a virtual sense.

On average, U.S. roadways see more than 5,891,000 car crashes every year. Because many of these accidents can be attributed to human error, some companies believe that autonomous automobiles could provide the solution to safer streets. Currently, there are no completely self-driving cars on the road — though there are many that come close. But while Uber, Tesla, and some well-known automakers are trying to lead the way, it’s possible they could be left in the dust if Apple manages to put the pedal to the metal.

Despite the fact that motor vehicle accident deaths fell by 2% in 2020, the demand for and curiosity surrounding self-driving vehicles still exists. Not only could self-driving cars allow us to get more done during the trip, but they could theoretically allow us to eliminate a number of driving-related hazards. Since drugs other than alcohol are involved in approximately 18% of motor vehicle deaths, it’s not surprising that some are advocating for autonomous vehicles as a means of keeping intoxicated individuals from getting behind the wheel.

That said, no one has exactly mastered the self-driving car as of yet. Self-driving cars themselves have actually caused fatalities and testing has shown that the technology isn’t necessarily shown to be foolproof, especially when encountering pedestrians.

But some wonder whether Apple might be able to crack the code.

According to outlets like the Wall Street Journal and CNBC, Apple is reportedly in talks to reach a deal regarding an electric-powered, self-driving car. Although the company has not publicly commented on its plans, that’s not surprising given its typical hush-hush approach to product releases. Consequently, not much is known about the project, but there’s plenty of speculation that it could become available by 2024 and might feature an unconventional design with no steering wheel at all.

That’s, of course, if the project actually gets off the ground at all. While some suspected that Apple was in the process of partnering with Hyundai or Kia to bring their self-driving car to market, both South Korean automakers have since said publicly that’s not the case. Although each of the companies have said they field requests for cooperation like these, both have definitively stated that they are not in talks with Apple on a project. As a result, stock shares for both brands dropped sharply earlier this month. In fact, Kia had its worst day on the stock market since 2001, while Hyundai lost $2.8 billion in market value.

As of now, it isn’t clear which companies will end up partnering with Apple on the final self-driving car project. Analysts have suggested that Honda, Tata Motors (the maker of the Land Rover), or Geely (the owner of Volvo) could be a good fit. But until we know more, Apple fans will just have to keep an eye out — and start saving in the meantime, as most agree that the maker of the iPhone won’t be focused on affordability.


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