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After Quashed McLaren Acquisition Rumor, Is Apple Now Buying A Self-Balancing All-Electric Motorcycle Maker?

23 September 2016, 12:10 am EDT By Aaron Mamiit Tech Times
Apple might not be buying McLaren, but new rumors suggest that it is now looking to acquire Lit Motors. The startup is developing the C-1, which is a self-balancing and all-electric motorcycle.  ( Lit Motors )

Apple is said to be in talks to acquire Lit Motors, which is a startup developing a self-balancing all-electric motorcycle named the C-1.

News on the potential takeover comes after the quashed rumors of Apple buying McLaren. The acquisition would have made a lot of sense for Apple, as the company is said to be working on a secretive car project known as Project Titan.

Acquiring McLaren would have given the company access to significant expertise in the automobile industry, boosting Apple's efforts with Project Titan. However, a spokesperson for McLaren refuted the reports, stating that there is no takeover or strategic investment that will happen between the two companies.

Apple looks like it really needs help from another company for Project Titan though, with Lit Motors said to also be targeted for a takeover.

Lit Motors, based in San Francisco, is said to have been approached by Apple for a possible acquisition, according to three anonymous sources. Several former engineers of Lit Motors are said to have already been hired by Apple.

The startup has been working on the C-1 for years. The electric motorcycle, powered by two gyroscopes to allow it to maintain its balance, is being designed as a combination of the efficiency of a motorcycle and the safety of a car. The C-1 features a cabin containing airbags, an air conditioning system and a sound system, giving off the feeling of being in a real car. The electric motorcycle, however, will only be able to carry one passenger in addition to the driver.

The C-1 was first announced in 2012, when Lit Motors said that it was looking to sell the electric motorcycle with a price tag of $24,000. The development of the vehicle, however, stalled last year, when Lit Motors CEO Daniel Kim was rendered immobile for six months after being involved in a motorcycle accident in a racetrack.

Why Apple would consider purchasing Lit Motors remains unclear as both companies have refused to issue comments regarding the rumored acquisition talks. However, if Apple would incorporate the technology being developed for the C-1 into its rumored Apple Car, it might be able to differentiate the vehicle from the other electric cars in the market.

Apple, with former Lit Motors engineers already in the fold, may also be looking to purchase the startup simply to acquire the talent and expertise of its employees.

Project Titan has fallen into rough times lately, with a recent report claiming that Apple has laid off dozens of employees from the team.

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