Apple’s long-rumored self-driving electric car — the so-called “Tesla killer” — could still be years from seeing the light of day.

The latest report says we’re at least five years from the big reveal.

That’s according to Bloomberg, which reported on Thursday that Apple’s self-driving electric car is “nowhere near” production. Sources working on the vehicle said Apple could launch a new car in the next five to seven years, though timelines for such a launch have come and gone in the past. A recent Reuters report, for instance, said Apple could launch its car by 2024.

Apple isn’t saying specifics, nor has the company officially confirmed work on a car — despite having hired a variety of former Tesla employees for lead roles on the car teams.

Apple has been working on its electric car project since at least 2014, and the project has changed directions across the last seven years.

Since Apple doesn’t manufacture its own products, there has been speculation that Apple could work with an existing automaker to implement its self-driving tech. South Korean automaker Hyundai has even confirmed “early stage” discussions with Apple about a collaboration on such a vehicle, Marketwatch reported.

If Apple does enter the automotive market with an EV, it faces steep challenges from existing players and other upstarts. But Apple is well-known for being a “late mover” in existing markets — from smartphones to headphones — and taking advantage of its late arrival to great effect. 

Blackberry, for instance, was a dominant force in smartphones before Apple’s iPhone launched, as was Samsung.

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“After the iPhone launch, Samsung was a very successful company alongside Apple for many years, and as the market shifted from feature phones to smartphones, Blackberry fell to the side even though they were early in the market,” Morgan Stanley IT hardware and Apple analyst Katy Huberty said in late December. “We think there is an example where both Tesla and Apple could be successful for many years and help grow the market together.”

Got a tip? Contact Business Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@businessinsider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.





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