Rumor mill: Apple has been working on something car-related since at least the mid-2010s. First, it was an autonomous car. Then it was AI for autonomous vehicles in general. Then after several shakeups with project heads, the whole thing just dropped off the radar for a while. Now suddenly the company is ready to launch the "Apple Car" as early as next year?
According to Taiwan-based outlet Economic Daily News, Apple is ready to launch its Apple Car in the third quarter of 2021. Anonymous sources speaking with the paper said component suppliers in Taiwan are planning to scale up production in the second quarter of next year.
EDN also claims that Apple has been secretly testing several prototypes on streets in the Bay Area. This should come as no surprise. The California Department of Motor Vehicles granted Apple a permit in 2017, and the company immediately began testing several LIDAR-equipped Lexus SUVs.
Sources say that the director at one of the unnamed manufacturing facilities noted that Apple plans to launch its vehicle in September 2021. This time frame is 2-4 years ahead of noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's predictions. The scheduling seems a bit questionable, considering Apple only began talks with automotive electronics manufacturers earlier this month. According to DigiTimes, it has also just started work with TSMC on producing "self-driving chips."
It is more likely that Apple will officially unveil a car in 2021, but the actual launch is still a few years down the road. Whatever the case may be, take EDN's reporting with a grain of salt. As we have seen too many times with "anonymous" sources, situations can fizzle out, if they were ever there in the first place.