According to foreign media reports, Apple is working with semiconductor manufacturing and design company TSMC to develop a “Tesla-like” semi-autonomous vehicle.
AppleInsider reported on Dec. 9 that Apple’s TItan project will likely focus on developing technology that will facilitate the production of self-driving cars, meaning it’s possible that Apple is quietly developing its own cars behind the scenes.
DigiTImes initially reported that TSMC and Apple were collaborating on self-driving chip technology. The report also said the two sides are working on producing “AppleCar” chips in the U.S. and are negotiating a supply agreement for automotive electronics between the two parties. DigiTImes also revealed that Apple’s planned vehicle is similar to a Tesla vehicle, but did not elaborate on the similarities between the two.
In November, CNBC reported that Apple broke off a 15-year partnership with Intel earlier this year because TSMC had the ability to produce 5-nanometer chips that Intel couldn’t. AppleInsider also reported that TSMC has been making chips for Apple since May this year, and these chips will be used in the iPhone 12, iPad Air, 5G iPad Pro and all future MacBook and iMac systems.
This isn’t the first time Apple has been rumored to be building a car. Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst who follows Apple, has previously predicted that Apple will purchase chips for semi-autonomous vehicles from TSMC. He also predicted that “AppleCar” is likely to land in the car market between 2023 and 2025.
Earlier this week, multiple sources said Apple’s self-driving car team had been moved under the company’s artificial intelligence division. Apple is still considering whether to build its own cars, launch an aftermarket-compatible kit, or partner with a third-party automaker to make its vehicles self-driving.
If Apple is really going to get into the self-driving car space, it will add another company with a large consumer base and a solid background. Whether or not Apple is going to build a car, the company needs to make a quick decision because other companies are already developing working self-driving cars. Tesla has also released a beta version of its FSD software, which has become more and more effective in challenging scenarios, and Tesla has also opened the gap with other companies.