Artificial Intelligence: Hyundai’s Flip-Flop On Self-Driving With Apple

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Hyundai first confirms, then retracts its statement on a tie-up with Apple on self-driving EV cars.

On Friday, Hyundai Motor (KRX: 005380) sent investors and motor enthusiasts into a flurry of excitement with its announcement of a potential tie-up with Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) for an electric car (the so-called Apple car) and batteries.

According to ZDNet, a company spokesperson said Cupertino has proposed collaborations with several global automobile makers for the launch of an electric car, and Hyundai Motors was also in discussions.

“Apple and Hyundai are in discussions but they are at an early stage and nothing has been decided,” Hyundai Motor said in a statement, according to Gadgets 360.

However, South Korean news media Hankyung said that the Korean auto giant had already vetted Apple’s proposal and all that remained was for its chairman Chung Eui-sun to sign off on the deal. It encompassed the manufacture of an electric car and the development of its battery.

Apple refused to comment on these reports.

However, the Korean group’s shares surged, according to CNBC. Hyundai Motor rose 19.42%, while shares in affiliate Kia Motors, which is the second-largest automobile manufacturer in South Korea, spiked 8.41%.

According to a Bloomberg article, the Korean family behind the conglomerate were richer by $2 billion following the report.

Self-driving ambitions

In October, Hyundai chairman Chung said that the company would develop “the world’s most innovative autonomous driving technology in the world”.

In December, Hyundai Motor announced a deal to buy out a controlling interest of 80% of robotics specialist Boston Dynamics from SoftBank Group (TYO: 9984).

Retraction

However, there appears to be confusion galore on the so-called tie-up between the two companies.

Bloomberg said today that Hyundai revised its initial statement and thereafter issued another correction. The latest amendment removed all references to Apple and said:

“We’ve been receiving requests for potential cooperation from various companies regarding development of autonomous EVs,” the Korean automotive giant said. “No decisions have been made as discussions are in early stage.”

Unsurprisingly, Apple declined to comment.

Related Story:  Spot Changes Hands Again; Hyundai Acquires Boston Dynamics

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