Who killed the electric car? Not Apple, as it's working on a 'Titan' one
Apple is allegedly planning to revolutionize the car industry just as it did with music, phones, tablets, high-end designer computers, and, possibly, with watches and TVs. Remember that van we showed you the other day, with the laser mapping contraption on top that turned out to be rented by Apple? Well, it might be a much more taking-on-Tesla project than improving-Apple-Maps-with-Street-View-style-shots endeavor as initially thought. Also, the work might really be on a van of sorts, the sources revealed.
Besides the mysterious van which hinted that car-related things are in motion at Apple, the Financial Times reported recently that Apple has people looking up car materials, parts and so on, while another publication was tipped that an upcoming product "will give Tesla a run for its money." If it quacks like a duck, it must be an electric car, cite most people familiar with the matter, but as to what shape and form that might take, remains to be seen, hopefully something better-looking than Google's self-driving bimbo on the right. It will be interesting to watch how Tesla's embattled stock price will open up tomorrow. Queue the Apple car design concepts.
That mysterious car project is called "Titan," tip insiders, and already has the green light by Apple's CEO Tim Cook to be staffed with a thousand-strong army of engineers, designers, and the like. With this kind of manpower, Titan is definitely not a one-off whim for a few prototypes of something that will be left gathering dust in the basement, as Apple often does, but rather a deliberate push to enter a new market. Of course, Apple has its CarPlay vehicle infotainment ecosystem already set up and ready to go there, too.
Such a bold move is said to serve a multipronged purpose - expanding Apple's comfort zone into a new and promising field, looking for alternative revenue sources, and preventing the eventual exodus of talent from the company from bright minds who are reluctant to only work on the next iPhone or iPad edition. Hey, those will sell like hotcakes whatever you do with them, after all. It will also (nudge, wink) quell investors' concern that Apple is not pushing for real innovation anymore, what with $180 billion cash hoard and all that.
Apple-leased van with laser mapping and navigation equipment on the roof
The level of people that are tipped to work on Titan is also very telling. We've got Johann Jungwirth, a former chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Research and Development, as well as Apple's design VP Steve Zadesky, who is tasked with leading the car project, and is an ex-Ford engineer, too. Also, let's not forget Marc Newson, who Apple recently hired - he is an acclaimed industrial designer who's already done a concept car for that same Ford previously. Add to these that Apple has been poaching engineers from Tesla, as Bloomberg reported recently, and you get the Apple-on-wheels picture.
Google self-driving car prototype
source: WSJ (paywall), BI, FT & MacObserver
Things that are NOT allowed: