The MED report jibes with a previous report from Reuters, which said the Cupertino firm has had its own automobile hardware research and development department since 2014, but in an attempt to avoid development challenges had sought partnerships with BMW, Hyundai, Nissan, and Toyota.
While this was going on, the vehicle hardware research and development unit stopped operating sometime around 2016, although self-driving software research continued.
Apple’s talks with automakers reportedly failed to come to an accord with automakers due to repeated delays, as well as the industry-wide transition to electric vehicles, which slowed the progress of joint development and production agreement.
Some large automakers are said to have been reluctant to become essentially a subcontractor for Apple. Apple is said to have decided to go solo to avoid any further delays.
According to a local source familiar with Apple on the 8th (local time), Apple has restored a virtually stopped research institute for car development and sent a Request For Quotation (RFQ) to global auto parts makers. The request for quotation is a document sent after the RFI and the Request for Proposal (RFP), and it is a message that the final parts supplier will be selected soon.
The official said, “Apple has focused and researched on autonomous driving-related technologies for a while.
This year, Apple has been attracting attention by scouting high-level personnel in the automobile industry one after another.