Are the wheels back on the Apple Car project? New Rivian partnership rumors swirl just months after it was canceled

Rivian vehciles
(Image credit: Rivian)

The Apple Car project was finally canceled earlier this year after a decade of Apple's attempts to turn it into something that would ship to customers. It was never clear whether that was going to be a new electric vehicle with an Apple logo on the front or a partnership to bring Apple self-driving technology to a third-party vehicle. Now, there's a suggestion that the Apple Car might be back in gear, and it's the latter approach that's back on the table.

A new report hints at Apple's possible decision to team up with a US-based electric vehicle maker with Rivian thought to be "a very likely candidate."

Does Apple intend to revive the Apple Car project just months after shutting it down? A report citing “speculation among supply chains” that Apple is looking into the prospect of teaming up with an existing EV maker suggests so.

Is the Apple Car back on track?

That's according to a paywalled DigiTimes report which hints that Project Titan could be making a return. It's thought that Apple may choose to use the technology it developed over the last decade to work with a company that is experienced in building vehicles, but it isn't currently known what the end result might look like.

Apple was previously thought to be in talks with Hyundai-Kia about a similar partnership, but nothing ultimately came of those discussions. Now, Apple appears to be mulling similar discussions with a US-based company instead. That ultimately leaves either Tesla or Rivian, and it seems that the latter would most likely be a better fit for Apple.

However, it's important to note that this could be little more than supply chain chatter, and given Apple's preference to control as much of the user experience as possible, partnering with another company in this manner seems unlikely to be a route it would want to go down. Counter to that, Apple may simply see Rivian as a partner similar to Foxconn, using it as a manufacturing base for future Apple vehicles.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.