Apple Inc. is reportedly building an automated car operating system in Canada. The U.S. tech giant hired about two dozen BlackBerry Ltd engineers to build its operating system at the Canadian facility, Bloomberg News reports, citing people familiar with the matter. According to the report, the company hired many of those engineers over the past year and about two dozen came from BlackBerry’s QNX, an automotive software supplier.
Apple Office in Canada
The iPhone maker has an office in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata, located nearby QNX, according to the report. The company hired QNX engineers because of their experience developing fundamental components of operating systems and power management, Bloomberg reported, citing a former QNX executive said.
Early this year, Apple hired Dan Dodge, CEO of QNX, to oversee the company’s Project Titan car initiative. Titan is a codename of the company’s electric car project.
Another notable addition to the company’s car project is Derrick Keefe, who come from QNX last year after more than a decade as a senior engineer.
It appears that Apple Inc. wants to beat BlackBerry in the car operating system sector. BlackBerry LtdBlackBerry Ltd ’s QNX is important part of the company’s plans for the future growth, and the operating system is being used in more than 60 million cars, mostly for “infotainment” systems like Ford Motor’s Sync.
Apple iCar Project
According to various reports, Apple is developing an electric iCar to rival Tesla. There were reports that the iPhone maker is in talks with McLaren and is engaging a large numbers of staff for its Project Titan, according to a report in Mac World.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the company’s iCar project is codenamed ‘Titan’, and there were “several hundred” employees working on the project.
Last month, The New York Times reported that Apple is “rethinking” its car strategy. According to the report, the company laid off dozens of employees working on its self-driving car efforts. One of the sources told Times that the Cupertino-based firm is “rethinking the strategy of its so-called Project Titan car initiative” and the employees were told the layoff was just a part of a “reboot.”
Apple Inc. has always refused to confirm its car ambitions, and made no official comment on this news as well. However, Tesla CEO – Elon Musk – said previously that the tech giant has hired hundreds of engineers, some even from the EV firm, to work on an automotive project. In early 2015, The WSJ first reported that the iPhone maker had several hundred employees working on an electric car. Many unmarked cars laden with sensor equipment and camera have been rumored to be owned by the tech giant as well.