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Apple reportedly working with a South Korean firm to add autopilot tech to Apple Car

Apple Car Concept
Apple Car Concept (Image credit: Vanarama)

What you need to know

  • Apple is said to have brought on a new partner to help with Apple Car production.
  • Apple has hired an OSAT to assist with chip modules and packages related to self-driving tech.
  • The South Korean arm of Apple is said to be running this part of the project.

Apple has reportedly been working with a South Korean company to get chip modules and packages ready for the self-driving component of its Apple Car. Work began last year and is expected to be completed in 2023.

That's according to a new report by The Elec which says that Apple is working on Apple Car with the help of an Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test (OSAT) company.

OSAT is often used by companies who need expertise on the assembly of semiconductors and associated tech, with The Elect saying that Apple went a similar route when it was developing the M1 Apple silicon ahead of its launch in 2020. This time around, an OSAT is being used to get the self-driving component of Apple Car ready to go.

The South Korean OSAT firm was working on the module for a chip that operates the autopilot function, much like those used by Tesla, sources said.Such chips, which oversee AI computations, usually integrate a neural processing unit, CPU, GPU, memory as well as camera interface among other functions.

While the Apple Car project has gone through multiple changes of leadership and scope over the years, one thing has remained constant — a focus on self-driving technology. The move to get that technology ready, in physical form, is likely an important step for Apple.

The same report notes that the management of this portion of the Apple Car project isn't actually being handled by Cupertino. Rather, Apple's South Korean offices have been put in charge of finding and hiring an OSAT for this latest stage of design and testing.

While nobody truly knows when Apple Car will be available, some reports have suggested that 2025 could be the year we see the car break cover.

Oliver Haslam
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.