Who killed the electric car? Not Apple, as it's working on a 'Titan' one

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.

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

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

Google self-driving car prototype

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.

source: WSJ (paywall), BIFT & MacObserver

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75 Comments

1. Ashoaib

Posts: 3260; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Wah, thats not bad... I like tesla for researching and pushing electric cars. I will love to see apple making carbon less cars. Can we expect samsung as well to work on electric cars soon?

2. vincelongman

Posts: 5611; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault_Samsung_Motors Seems like Apple copied Samsung yet again :D

3. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Apple copied Renault, not Samsung. Renault owns that company.

15. Macready

Posts: 1798; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Samsung started the company 21 years ago and while it sold the majority of shares off, it still partially owns (Renault) Samsung Motors.

24. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Apple copied neither as renault is a typical combustion engine car and has nothing to do with electric car tech. Also, how do you tie Apple to this company when there are a gazillion car manufacturers out there. Most started way before this company. If Apple is copying anybody, they are copying Tesla. Google is working on self driving tech and want to partner with other car manufacturers. Apple is building an electric car with assistive drive capabilities again similiar to Tesla.This is not the smartphone wars buddy. Get over it! By the way, Apple didn't creat the first MP3 player, phone, tablet, and this obviously won't be the first car.

68. engineer-1701d unregistered

google has had the self driving car for i think 2 or 3 years now going around campus tesla has a self driving car the d model popped up last year you should watch the video its great,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNIGPVK49Gc

74. vincelongman

Posts: 5611; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Woosh... But ... In 2012 RSM introduced an electric version of its SM3 car known as the SM3 Z.E.

5. AlikMalix unregistered

I see Samsung finally building aluminum bodied phones, apple is already working on its own car. Yep. The next big thing is already here.. /s

7. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

Samsung already did it..and Samsung wave series was made of aluminium..and Samsung built lot of things... may be you need to do some research

16. Macready

Posts: 1798; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Samsung already had a metal unibody phones before Apple did.

25. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Now this is funny! Samsung just called up Renault over the weekend and said, "we have to talk" lol!

6. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5485; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Samsung already is one of the largest shipbuilders in the world, supplies car batteries too, so another branches shouldn't be to difficult for them

21. darkkjedii

Posts: 30786; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Be honest Reb, do you really concern yourself with who did what first, and who copies who? I know I dont, just put the features out for me to have. Banks copy banks, car makers copy car makers, candy bar makers copy candy bar makers, hell even cell carries copy each other's plans.

30. tedkord

Posts: 17093; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

True, but banks don't sue banks for offering savings accounts. Car makers don't sue car makers for having steering wheels. Candy bar makers don't sue candy bar makers for having a rectangular candy bar. T-Mobile didn't sue AT&T for adding no contract installment payment for phones. Apple does sue over such things (to the enthusiastic cheers of their diehards). They sue over things they stole from others. They file for patents on things others have worked on but they haven't, and write the patients in such a way as to make them a broad concept patent that covers any possible implementation of something without actually addressing the engineering obstacles (like the fingerprint under the screen patent filing recently released), again with the unquestioning support of super fans. I know you don't do this, but many Apple fans do.

37. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Yiu really need some cream for that butthurt! You have sleepless nights worrying about Apple getting credit for something. Typical Apple hater. GET A LIFE!!

44. tedkord

Posts: 17093; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

No, I don't. The real butthurt comes from the Apple faithful that see the whole world stealing from Apple (but especially Samsung). But, yes, Apple's unethical behavior regarding patents does concern me, because it stifles competition and innovation, and means that the devices I buy will be more expensive and less capable than they could be.

49. darkkjedii

Posts: 30786; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

You're right, but I don't get caught up in the boardroom battles ted, I just want a good candy bar lol. I'm not gonna sit here, and give Apple a pass, and none of the others either. All are greedy, foot in the back billion dollar companies in my book. youre right too about these super fans bro. Hey ted, I'm waiting for someone to make a better snickers though ;)

51. tedkord

Posts: 17093; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I'm probably in the minority, but I'm not a big candy bar fan. Perfection for me is the Terry's chocolate orange. I'm not sure that can be improved. As far as bars, I'd have to go with the Heath Bar or Skor Bar (both pretty much the same thing). But they get stuck in every crevice in your teeth!

55. darkkjedii

Posts: 30786; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I love both of those, and that's a classic copycat lol.

42. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5485; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Nope, that was not the point I was trying to make :) I don't care who is first, last or biggest. The more choice the better. Guess I replied to the wrong comment, just wanted to show how diverse the company is, not it's ability to be the first. Lol even copier makers copy each other ;)

50. darkkjedii

Posts: 30786; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Lol exactly. I simply don't care, hell I'm hoping Apple copies multi window next. I'm tired of stacking my phone on top of my iPad lmao ;)

52. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5485; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Lol there should be an accessory for that. Could be cool feature though, connect two devices and use them a single device (where the other is just a second screen)

54. darkkjedii

Posts: 30786; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I'd use it as long as it wasn't copied lol ;)

66. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5485; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Just patent the s**t out of it lol

27. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Here is the problem with Samsung though. They are in different industries, but they hardly do anything to revolutionize the industries they enter. This is where Apple is Apple. I'm not even sure why Samsung is even mentioned in this article. It should mostly be Tesla and other electric cars.

43. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5485; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

You might not think they didn't revolutionize, but they did develop some great tech that is currently available. Agreed their products tend to look at the competition a lot, or just full of features for the sake of features. But they did come up with a lot of tech related stuff.

67. engineer-1701d unregistered

i love tesla but they are a holes for not responding to my emails about continuous electric power no need for charge stations and houses needing plug ins for the cars. same goes for gm.

4. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

Competition. That's what we want here no matter who gets there first

11. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

For electric cars, it's nowhere near who gets there first, next, or last. It will be about who can deliver a 400+ mile car that is affordable. I considered a Leaf for my daily commute, but I'm glad I didn't (We would have had our Prius as a second car, either way). My buddy has a Leaf (and a new M4), and he drives nearly the same distance to work (~25 miles, one way, but lots of traffic). The compromises he has to make in his commute are not worth the effort. The Leaf is the only electric car that isn't just a city car that even approaches affordable (barely). The Tesla Model S gives you luxury and more range, but if I bought one of those, my wife would have to drive a used Nissan Versa, and that isn't going to happen.

22. darkkjedii

Posts: 30786; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Now tha s a good post, and actual good points. +10 bruh.

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