Apple has come a long way since developing a computer – their next product might take you to work. Oh, and it may be completely electric as well. Apple’s latest project may not come to fruition for a few years yet, but it’s plain to see that the vision is there, even if no official announcements have yet been made.
First off, let’s be clear – Apple has neither confirmed nor denied that they are entering the auto industry with their own original product. They claim they will not respond to rumors, and that’s fine. We don’t necessarily need a statement to see that Apple is gearing up for something to do with cars, whether it’s their own vehicle or they are creating a brand new software for other vehicles, we don’t yet know. But all signs point to an Apple car, which could be released as early as 2019, according to sources at The Wall Street Journal.
Apple is Hiring Auto Experts at an Astonishing Rate
The first sign that Apple is up to something in the auto-sphere is the number of recent hires with serious auto industry background. In fact, they have even been sued for it. A123, a Massachusetts electric car battery company, accused Apple of poaching five of their engineering specialists and caused their company serious damage in the process because they had to shut down various projects. Apple has been on a hiring spree at Tesla Motors as well, along with bringing on a long-time auto expert Doug Betts, formerly the quality control head of Fiat Chrysler. Supposedly, Apple’s team for “Project Titan,” the code word for their new car, has tripled in size, from 600 staff to 1,800.
Apple is Scouting Out BMW’s Production Process
A German magazine reported that Apple plans to use BMW’s reputation for boosting car sales in the future for their first model. Tim Cook, Apple CEO, was supposedly visiting the Leipzig BMW factory to view the development of the i3 earlier in 2015. This move would make sense, as Apple has an ongoing working relationship with BMW and the brand’s prominence would be the perfect springboard for a successful vehicle launch.
Apple May Be Testing in San Francisco
Rumor has it that Apple is leasing vans that have been spotted driving around San Francisco suburbs and areas in Brooklyn, supposedly testing sensors and other equipment. This may point to a future Apple vehicle that has some self-driving properties integrated to the driving experience. Other reports state that Apple has been placing inquiries into privately owned land near San Francisco where Mercedes-Benz and Honda have conducted test-drives in the past.
When Will Project Titan Hit the Market?
Since there is no official word yet, it’s clear Apple wants to keep their next endeavor under wraps for now. But are they going to present themselves as an alternative to the Tesla in the electric car market? Elon Musk sure would welcome the competition, as he has stated on multiple occasions. Since building a car is such an extensive project, we are sure to hear more on the topic through the rumor mill in the months to come.