Apple Inc. ’s plan to manufacture electric and/or autonomous vehicles – popularly called ‘Project Titan’ – has been one of the most talked topics in recent times. But, the firm has been very tight-lipped on the project, and we even don’t know whether or not any such project exists – officially. Though the iPhone maker is quite on the project, there have been plenty of rumors, leaks and reports suggesting something is in works behind Apple’s closed walls.
Evidence of Apple working on a car
In February last year, the WSJ citing a source familiar with the matter, reported that Apple is working on an electric vehicle, and it has hired hundreds of employees working on a minivan-like vehicle. This new project codenamed – Project Titan – is believed to have been led by firms veteran product designer – Vice President Steve Zadesky. Zadesky, who is a former Ford engineer, played a vital role in developing the firms iPod and iPhone.
Around the same time, Reuters reported that Apple may be working on a self-driving car. Citing source from the auto industry, Reuters claimed that the firm is consulting automotive suppliers and carmakers on the production methods. “They don’t appear to want a lot of help from carmakers,” the source said.
In October, it was reported that Apple’s spaceship-like headquarters in Sunnyvale will be housing the company’s electric vehicles down the road. A month later, it was reported that Apple’s car could come with digital license plates. One of Apple’s new hires – Rónán Ó Braonáin – leaked that he was working in a company, which was making the world’s first digital license plate. Such high-tech license plate has the capability to alert authorities when an incident happens.
Another hint came earlier this year, when Apple Inc. allegedly registered three car-related top-level domain names – apple.cars, apple.car and apple.auto. Also, Tesla CEO – Elon Musk – called Apple’s project as ‘open secret,’ saying, “It’s pretty hard to hide something if you hire over a thousand engineers to do it.”
Not all going well with Project Titan
Along with the reports of Apple progressing with ‘Project Titan,’ there have also been reports of troubles that the project is facing. In January, Apple Insider reported that the Apple’s design chief Jony Ive carried a post-holiday progress review, and was not happy with the group’s headway. Therefore, the firm has frozen hiring for the project.
Also, the WSJ reported that Zadesky, who is heading the Project Titan, may exit Apple Inc. after 16 years. Though the reason for the departure has been said to personal, it is believed that Apple was getting impatient with Zadesky boosting headcount for the project.