Much chatter has been swirling about why Apple seems to be having quite a few car-related conversations with some big name, specialty auto brands.
Recently, The New York Times reported that Apple was in talks regarding an acquisition of San Francisco-based Lit Motors. Founded in 2010, startup Lit Motors is known for developing electric self-balancing motorcycles. Apple has allegedly already hired some former Lit Motors engineers.
The publication also followed that up with a twist: Apple has been chatting with McLaren, the maker of Formula One cars. Financial Times even published on the conversation.
Certainly, Apple seems to be mulling over options, whether it’s self-driving cars, electric cars or something that doesn’t truly exist yet. Of course, Apple isn’t the first company to be marinating on the issue.
That said, Apple did do away with parts of its self-driving car project, laying off dozens. The project’s code name, Titan, has wavered between struggling and evolving over the past two years and now has Apple veteran Bob Mansfield leading the charge.
But could all these mumbles of conversation indeed be leading to some kind of “Apple Autos” initiative?
Sources say: pump the breaks. There could be only some validity to that question.
Some like TechCrunch say that Apple would be more lured in by McLaren Applied Technologies (MAT), McLaren’s consulting firm, and not the production or racing side of the business.
Others, like The Verge, say that an acquisition of McLaren by Apple would be a match made in heaven. Citing McLaren’s work in electric car innovation, as well as just high-level engineering, Apple could have much to gain out of this pairing up.
But don’t get excited just yet. McLaren has flat out denied this acquisition via email to The Verge. “We can confirm that McLaren is not in discussion with Apple in respect of any potential investment,” said McLaren in an emailed statement.
Interestingly, McLaren is private and doesn’t have the same reporting or response requirements that public companies — namely, Apple — does indeed have.
Regardless, details are still trickling out, and the self-driving car movement is, well, moving fast — everything from Lyft’s CEO saying goodbye to car ownership, to self-driving car beginnings in Pennsylvania, to even Walmart saying it’s going to have self-driving carts in the near future.