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It’s easy to think of the Apple Car as a quirky “side project” for the Cupertino tech giant – but for Apple, its so-called Project Titan is a serious deal, and it’s starting to become a reality.
Apple has been working on a self-driving electric vehicle for years now. And despite some road bumps along the way, it appears that Apple isn’t slowing down progress on the Apple Car by any means.
This week, a recent report cements just how serious Apple is about vehicular development.
Apple Almost Bought Tesla
Craig Irwin, a senior research analyst at Roth Capital Partners, recently appeared on CNBC to speak about Tesla’s current financial situation. And during his interview, he revealed an interesting tidbit about the automaker: Apple tried to buy it.
Back in 2013, there was a “serious bid” from Apple. According to Irwin, Apple was considering buying the electric automaker at around $240 a share. While Irwin didn’t reveal his sources, he said that he has “complete confidence” that this was the case.
He even argued that Apple could still be interested in purchasing the company, particularly since the automaker’s valuation has taken a serious hit over the past few months.
In addition to speaking about Apple’s bid for Tesla, Irwin also claimed that Apple is still very much developing first-party vehicular technology.
The analyst says that Apple is currently building “multiple very large drive rooms in California” for testing and development purposes. Irwin added that Apple is doing “something interesting and exciting on the battery side.”
It isn’t exactly clear what Irwin meant by “drive room,” but presumably, the rumored Apple facilities are being used for continued research into drivetrain systems and car batteries.
“Project Titan is absolutely not dead,” Irwin said.
History of Apple Car Development
Apple’s Project Titan hasn’t had the smoothest ride over the last few years. The project has seen a handful of layoffs as part of continued “restructuring.” But, as Irwin notes, it appears to be far from dead.
The company has made a handful of high-profile hires for its vehicular development team. Apple has also applied for a slew of patents concerning car-based technologies, and it fields one of the largest self-driving car fleets in the U.S., which is currently being used for testing on California roads in the Bay Area.
At one point, Apple was said to have shifted its focus to underlying autonomous systems. But now, there’s quite a bit of evidence suggesting that Apple is actually developing a physical Apple Car (or Apple Van).
While we don’t know when an Apple Car will hit the market, well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that it could be between 2023 and 2025.