In separate regulatory filings, Hyundai and Kia, which together form the world’s fifth-biggest carmaker by sales, said they are “not in talks with Apple over developing an autonomous vehicle”.
In a statement, Hyundai said that it “has received requests to co-develop autonomous electric vehicle from multiple companies but they were in the early stages and nothing has been finalised”.
On Monday, shares of Hyundai fell 6.2 per cent and Kia shares plunged 15 per cent.
Last month, Hyundai and Kia did not confirm or deny their potential cooperation with Apple over EV car production.
It is unclear whether discussions between Hyundai and Apple might resume or not. But Hyundai is one of only several carmakers that are capable of mass producing a self-driving electric car in their US plants.
In recent years, Apple reportedly has hired engineers and designers with expertise in electric vehicles to develop a self-driving car system, reports Yonhap news agency.
Earlier reports mentioned that Apple was also discussing similar plans with other automobile manufacturers besides Hyundai.
The first Apple electric car is expected to be built on Hyundai’s electric vehicle platform and the initial model could lead to new vehicles built in association with General Motors and European manufacturer PSA.
In a note to investors, TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple’s deep collaboration with current automakers (Hyundai Group, GM and PSA) who have extensive development, production, and qualification experience “will significantly shorten the Apple Car development time and create a time-to-market advantage”.
Kuo believes that the earliest possible date for an Apple car to hit the market is 2025.
The Apple car is rumoured to feature LiDAR technology, which could add a lot of depth to onboard AI functions. The vehicle is expected to use a “C1” chip based on the A12 Bionic processor with in-cabin AI capabilities such as eye-tracking.