Apple is reportedly working on building an electric car, according to a wild new report from The Wall Street journal. And it may even be a self-driving vehicle, according to a separate report from Reuters.
The electric vehicle project is said to be code named ‘Titan’, and already has “several hundred employees” working on the project at a private location near the main Apple campus. That’s a fairly large team size for a project that was only approved by CEO Tim Cook sometime last year, which perhaps indicates the seriousness of the endeavor. A separate report from the Financial Times mentions that Apple has been hiring various automotive designers and engineers to work on a secret project.
An ambitious effort, an electric car could put Apple in direct competition with Tesla or even GM. The project vision sounds grand, quoting WSJ:
“Apple hopes to put its stamp on the electric vehicle market in the same way it did the smartphone with its iPhone, said a person familiar with its work.”
The initial design is said to resemble a minivan, which could explain the mysterious Apple-leased minivans spotted driving around in California with unusual looking camera contraptions on the roof. Whether or not Apple is actually designing a true minivan is unknown, though it seems very likely that such a chassis design may simply be a functional prototype. For some reference, early iPhone and early iPad prototypes looked quite clunky and resembled little to the final product offerings.
A later report from Reuters detailed things further, though somewhat contradicting the WSJ piece, saying that “Apple is learning how to make a self-driving electric car”, quoting a source who says “It’s a software game. It’s all about autonomous driving”.
The Wall Street Journal does note that Apple “could ultimately decide not to proceed” with the car effort, and that some of the technologies used in an electric vehicle could find use in other Apple products.
(Topmost picture is a Magna Steyr Mila concept car, Apple has been in contact with that company according to the WSJ report)
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