Back in early February, reports were suggesting that Kia and Apple were close to finalizing a deal to produce the long-mooted Apple Car. Hyundai Motor Group quashed that speculation a few days later, informing investors they were not in negotiations with Apple about producing an autonomous vehicle. But according to a report from the Korean outlet Chosun Biz, an Apple Car built by Kia could still be in the works...or, the companies could be collaborating on something else entirely.
The new report says Apple and Kia signed a memorandum of understanding last year in order to cooperate in eight different areas. An autonomous vehicle may merely have been one of those areas. The EV negotiations, as per the report, are "experiencing difficulties" but "have not completely collapsed."
According to the report, another potential cooperation area between Hyundai Motor Group and Apple could be "last-mile mobility." Picture an electric scooter or some other form of vehicle you would take to home or work after leaving the train/subway/bus.
Hyundai, it should be noted, recently bought robotic dog-maker Boston Dynamics. Such technology would be more useful for things like food and package delivery than having a new version of "Smaht Pahk" where your Sonata clambers around like a dog.
Remember, Apple putting any vehicle on the road by 2024 would be incredibly ambitious. That's especially true for an autonomous one, since the technology doesn't exist yet. If Apple does reach self-driving first, putting it in a hyper-expensive niche Apple car would be one of the least profitable ways to apply it. An Apple EV built by Kia with new battery technology and advanced driving assistants that seamlessly integrates with your iPhone and other devices, however? That seems more reasonable.